St Patrick's Day chaos in student quarter

A drunk driver who got into a fight before getting in his car and swerving at party-goers was one of several incidents on a night of St Patrick's Day carnage in Dunedin.

Police were kept busy overnight as thousands of partiers, many in the student area, celebrated the occasion.

Unfortunately, some took it to the extreme by getting "ratfaced''.

At 12.06am, police were called to Dundas St after a 21-year-old woman, her 19-year-old male cousin, and a 26-year-old man from North Otago approached a flat and asked to join their party, Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said.

After being told to leave, the trio knocked their letterbox off a post before getting into a fight with the flat's occupants.

One of the occupants was injured and had to go to hospital.

The trio then left and headed down Butts Rd, where the 19-year-old man got into his car and began racing up and down the road, swerving at party-goers.

He then got out of the car and attempted to bottle an unknown male.

Both of the male members of the trio were arrested, and the 19-year-old recorded an alcohol level of 447mcg. Further charges were pending, Snr Sgt Dinnissen said.

Extreme intoxication was also an issue in some quarters overnight.

Police were flagged down by a member of the public at 11.21pm on State Highway 1 near the Botanic Garden, where they found an 18-year-old man convulsing in the grass. He was unable to speak, but could make hand signals, and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Police undertook first aid until an ambulance arrived.

At 10.30pm in Clyde St, police were called after a "very drunk and high'' 19-year-old woman became aggressive towards ambulance staff. Police defused the situation and took her home.

No couches were harmed during yesterday's festivities, but police were called to Castle St at 1.40am today after people lit a mattress on fire on the front lawn of a flat.

Firefighters extinguished the well-ablaze bedding, and the suspects had been identified by Campus Watch.

In other incidents, an altercation at a party in a flat in Queen St led to a man putting his fist through a window at 11.20pm.

Earlier in the day at 5.15pm, a 20-year-old man reported hitting a woman with his car in Dundas St after she ran out in front of him. He got out to check on her but she ran away.

The pedestrian was identified as a 19-year-old woman and was spoken to at Dunedin Hospital's Emergency Department, where she was being checked out. Her only injury was a scrape on her left elbow.

Snr Sgt Dinnissen said while the vast majority of students were well behaved, a small pocket of partiers got "ratfaced'' and drank to excess. 

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