Rule-flouting drink-drivers disappoint

Mandatory alcohol interlock devices for repeat offenders aims to help drive down the number of...
Mandatory alcohol interlock devices for repeat offenders aims to help drive down the number of people charged and convicted for drink driving. PHOTO: MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
Dunedin police are disappointed with the number of drivers with alcohol interlock licences caught driving vehicles without alcohol interlock devices at the weekend.

For some convicted drink-drivers, the court can impose an alcohol interlock licence so they can continue driving, but the conditions of the licence meant they could only drive vehicles fitted with the device.

To start the vehicle, the driver must breathe into the alcohol interlock, which analyses the breath sample.

If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.

Drivers also need to provide breath samples at random times while the vehicle is in use.

Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond said four drivers were pulled over by Dunedin police at the weekend, and charged with driving a vehicle that had not been fitted with the device.

He said the interlock devices aimed to allow people with drink-driving convictions to continue using vehicles.

However, it appeared many were putting their careers, their lives, and the lives of others at risk by not following the conditions of the licence.

At 10.45pm on Saturday, police were driving down Walter St and spotted a vehicle coming towards them without its lights on, Snr Sgt Bond said.

"We tried to wave it down and tell the driver to stop.

"The driver has continued driving down the street, parked up and then run off.

"He was located nearby, in the passenger seat of a nearby parked car."

The 68-year-old driver blew a breath alcohol level of 600mcg. He was also on an alcohol interlock licence, and the vehicle he was driving did not have a device fitted.

His vehicle was impounded and he was charged with drink-driving and driving without an alcohol interlock.

At 6pm on Sunday, a 36-year-old male was caught driving through Waihola without an alcohol interlock device on his vehicle.

A 43-year-old man was stopped in Hillside Rd at 9.15am on Sunday and was found to be driving a vehicle without an alcohol interlock device fitted.

And at 1.50pm on Saturday, police stopped a 52-year-old man riding a motorcycle without an alcohol interlock device.

All three had their vehicles impounded for 28 days and will appear in the Dunedin District Court, charged with driving without an alcohol interlock.

"It’s disappointing", Snr Sgt Bond said.

"They’ve been caught drink-driving and that’s the court-imposed sentence.

"The conditions of the sentence is that in order to operate a vehicle, they need to have an alcohol interlock device fitted.

"They’re making themselves reappear before the courts and will likely lead to further or lengthy periods of disqualification."