Police will be testing motorists for alcohol and drug consumption at checkpoints around the Wakatipu and the rest of the South this festive period. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Police in the Southern district warn they will be out in
force to apprehend drink- and drug-drivers in a campaign
launched this week and set to continue into the new year.
''Don't take the risk of getting caught driving under the
influence of alcohol or drugs,'' Senior Sergeant Steve
Larking, of Dunedin, said.
''You will be caught and you will also run the risk of
seriously harming yourself, your family or friends or someone
Police said drivers could expect to see marked and plain
police vehicles stopping motorists across Otago and Southland
before Christmas and over the holiday period.
Every driver stopped will be breath-tested.
''We will be mass testing as many drivers as possible at peak
times at road checkpoints and also carrying out random
stops,'' Snr Sgt Larking said.
''As Christmas approaches many people attend work and family
functions. It is important that people plan to ensure plenty
of food is available at functions and that arrangements are
made early to ensure that everybody has a safe way to get
''We remind drivers under 20 that there is a zero alcohol
limit for them when driving.
''For adults over 20, the penalties of being caught driving
when over the alcohol limit range from a possible three
months' imprisonment, six months' disqualification from
driving and a fine of up to $4500.''
• 45,909 drivers were stopped and breath-tested in the
Southern district in December 2011 and January 2012.
• Of those, 291 were charged with drink- or drug-driving
• 84 of the offences occurred in Dunedin Clutha, 89 in Otago
Rural and 118 in Southland.70 of these 291 drivers were under
20 years of age.
• Of those 70, 16 offences occurred in Dunedin Clutha, 22 in
Otago Rural and 32 in Southland.