Helmetless rider knocked out in power pole crash

An intoxicated motorcyclist who rode up and down a Dunedin street without a helmet on before hitting a power pole and being knocked unconscious is one of eight drink drivers processed by police over the weekend.

Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond, of Dunedin, said the 18-year-old man had allegedly been drinking and taking MDMA at a friend’s house in Murray St, Kew, on Friday night.

At 10.30pm, police were called after he decided to ‘‘show off his motorbike riding skills’’ on a dirt bike, by riding up and down the street with no helmet on.

‘‘He’s ridden into a power pole and knocked himself out.

‘‘He was transported to Dunedin Hospital where blood samples have been taken for drugs and alcohol.

‘‘We’re awaiting those results.’’

Snr Sgt Bond said it was just one of a ‘‘disappointing’’ number of drink-driving incidents that officers attended over the weekend, adding that they had the potential to cause serious injuries.

‘‘They’re running red lights or weaving over the centre line, so they’re endangering themselves and other road users as well.’’

On Sunday at 1.05am, police saw a vehicle cross the centre line in Cumberland St before the driver failed to comply with a red traffic arrow at the Dundas St intersection.

The 19-year-old driver was stopped and recorded a breath alcohol level of 453mcg. He was charged with drink driving.

Soon after, at 2am, a vehicle was stopped in St Andrew St where the 25-year-old female driver recorded a breath alcohol level of 735mcg.

Snr Sgt Bond said her licence was suspended for 28 days, and she would appear in the Dunedin District Court on a drink-driving charge.

Also on Sunday, at 5pm, a 36-year-old woman was stopped at a police checkpoint in Mornington Rd, where she recorded a breath alcohol level of 296mcg.

She was issued with an infringement notice.

On Saturday, at 3am, police spotted a vehicle being driven through a red light in the city centre and managed to stop it in Eglington Rd, Mornington.

Snr Sgt Bond said the 34-year-old male driver was ‘‘uncooperative and refused the roadside tests’’.

‘‘He was brought back to the station where he did blow 600mcg, but he asked for a blood sample to be taken.

‘‘He was arrested because he had a zero-alcohol licence condition, and we’re still waiting for the blood sample to come back for him.’’

Also on Saturday, at 1.40pm, a 45-year-old woman was stopped at a police checkpoint in Sir John Thorne Dr, Sawyers Bay.

‘‘She blew 885mcg. She said she had had a big night before, and had also followed up with a couple of sips of spirits that morning.’’

She has been charged with drink-driving.

Later, at 4.40pm, police witnessed a vehicle being driven on the wrong side of the road in High St.

The vehicle was stopped and the 51-year-old female driver admitted to drinking alcohol previously.

‘‘She was unable to complete the breath alcohol test, so she was taken back to the police station to have a blood sample taken.’’

Police were waiting for the results before pressing charges, Snr Sgt Bond said.

And on Friday, at 6pm, police spotted a vehicle leaving a pub in Kaikorai Valley Rd.

It was stopped a short distance away, where the driver recorded a breath alcohol level of 526mcg.

He too will appear in the Dunedin District Court on a drink driving charge.

Snr Sgt Bond said there did not appear to be any reason for the high numbers of drink-drivers in the city.

‘‘It’s an ongoing issue.

‘‘You’ve got taxis that are available, you’ve got courtesy coaches at licensed premises.

‘‘The legislation has been enforced for decades.

‘‘It’s disappointing that people still continue to drink and drive,’’ Snr Sgt Bond said.

 - john.lewis@odt.co.nz