Drink-, drug-driving blitz

Drink-drivers and drugged drivers be warned - police are out in force this Christmas-New Year holiday period.

Southern district police launched a drink-driving campaign this week and have a simple message for drink- or drug-drivers: ''The answer is simple. Don't take the risk of getting caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,'' Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said.

Throughout the holiday period drivers could expect to see marked and plain police vehicles stopping motorists.

''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.

With many people attending work and family functions, it was important food was available and travel arrangements were made to ensure everyone got home safely, he said.

For drivers under 20 years, there was a zero alcohol limit.

Older adults caught drink-driving faced a range of penalties, including three months' imprisonment, six months' disqualification from driving and a fine of up to $4500.

Alcohol and drug-affected drivers continued to feature in crashes across Southland and Otago and they represented a real risk to the safety of all road users, Snr Sgt Larking said.

Breath testing
• In Southern police district:Between December 2011 and January 2012, 45,909 drivers were stopped and breath-tested
• Of those, 291 were charged with drink- or drug-driving offences.
• Of those drivers, 70 were under 20 years of age; 16 were recorded in Dunedin/Clutha, 22 in rural Otago and 32 in Southland.


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