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Police Praise Rhythm And Vines Crowds, But Drivers Let The Side Down

Tairawhiti Area Commander acting Inspector Danny Kirk

Tairawhiti Police are praising crowds after the three-day Rhythm and Vines festival in Gisborne but are frustrated at the number of people drink-driving.

There were no arrests at the three-day festival and Police got to mingle with the crowds and soak up the positive, fun-filled atmosphere. We ran several alcohol checkpoints across the region over the past four days and it was pleasing that most were driving responsibly.

However, at the conclusion of the event this morning, Police ran three significant checkpoints on roads leading from the festival and found far too many people driving while impaired.

Over the course of several hours, thousands of drivers were breath-tested and 45 were found to be over the legal breath alcohol limit. That’s 45 people who shouldn’t be anywhere near the controls, operating a vehicle on the same roads we all drive.

No driver has the right to put other people’s lives at risk; every person in and around your vehicle relies on you being in full control of it. There is no argument that can justify driving after a night on the beers.

It’s also been disappointing to find a number of locals and out-of-towners driving around without seatbelts. In a crash, you risk being catapulted through the windscreen, and your excuse for not wearing a belt isn’t going to save your life.

To the sheer majority of people who partied responsibly and made the weekend so enjoyable, we thank you.

Police will continue to have a visible presence on the roads and around the towns. Wear your belt, drive sober, and expect to see us.

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