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On Friday and Saturday nights Counties Manukau Police were out in force detecting alcohol impaired drivers.
Their operation which ran on the weekend of 13th and 14th February 2009 check points at 7 key locations and involved in excess of 80 staff. 18002 vehicles were stopped over and 130 drivers will be going to court to answer charges of excess breath alcohol. 22 drivers elected to have a blood sample taken.
Counties Manukau Road Acting Policing Manager, Senior Sergeant Mike Stopforth said 'despite lower numbers of drivers picked up compared to previous similar operations the message is still not getting through.
Previously we have identified up to 1 in every 50 drivers over the legal limit. During this operation we detected 1 in every 138 drivers over the limit.
Bailiffs accompanied Police at a number of the checkpoint sites. They executed 58 Warrants with outstanding fines amounting to $104,367.54.
Some drivers paid their fines in full with cash totaling $9,052. 55 vehicles were seized from drivers.
14 arrests were made for a variety of offences such as stolen vehicles, Dangerous Driving, failing to stop and disqualified Drivers. 36 drivers had their licences suspended and 21 vehicles were impounded by police for various offences.
One check point on East Tamaki Road, Otara, has returned up to 60 drink drivers in a two night operation. It has been hit by Police on a regular basis over the last 10 months. During the current operation only 19 drivers were detected at this location. This reduction shows that continued enforcement is starting to have an effect but there is still a long way to go.
The drink driving problem is not a young person's problem as many perceive. With just 16 offenders under the age of 20, it was found that there are a large number of drinkers aged in their 30's and 40's. Senior Sergeant Stopforth said 'with the tight economy we are finding that a lot of people are choosing to drink at private premises rather than bars and clubs.
Often they are not planning how they will get home after having a few. There needs to be some responsibility by the host of private events to ensure their guests get home safely. Also some responsibility for your own actions by planning your journey ahead of time will save lives.'
Police are committed to continue with this hard line approach to remove these high risk offenders to ensure safety for other road users.
Issued by Senior Sergeant Mike Stopforth
Acting Road Policing Manager
Issued By: Inspector Kerry Watson