You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
A pregnant 14-year-old girl caught allegedly drink-driving twice in the past week in Whangarei has escaped from Child, Youth and Family (CYF) care.
CYF has grave concerns for the girl, who escaped from a supervised home in Auckland earlier today.
The organisation's deputy chief executive Ray Smith said in hindsight the girl's determination to reject help had been underestimated.
The priority was to get the girl and her unborn baby the support and care they needed, he told NewstalkZB.
He asked anyone who knew where she was to contact police immediately.
It was the second time the girl, who is four months' pregnant, had done a runner from CYF's care.
Police pulled the girl over on Saturday night and she recorded a level of 766 micrograms per litre of breath - more than five times the legal limit for her age of 150mcg.
Earlier in the week she had recorded a level of 828mcg - six times the legal limit - after she was spotted driving erratically.
She was placed in CYF custody after the second incident, but did a runner when CYF officials tried to take her to a Ministry of Social development home in Auckland, Whangarei police Acting Sergeant Mike Greenwood said.
"When they got to Portland, she said she was feeling sick. When they stopped the car she opened the door and took off," he told the Northern Advocate.
She was found early yesterday when she turned up at her home, Whangarei-Kaipara police area commander Inspector Paul Dimery said.
The girl's "shocking" case was "part of an issue that's bigger than the individual and not unique to Northland", he told the paper.
There was a huge problem with alcohol nationally and it was obvious to police more teenagers were drinking since the drinking age had been lowered to 18, Mr Dimery said.
Early yesterday, police found a seven -month-old girl soaked in beer outside a Whangarei nightclub.
The child, who was taken into CYF custody, had been in a parked car with her 18-year-old father while her mother was in the club about 4am, Sergeant Howard Clement told NZPA.
The father appeared to be heavily intoxicated.
He was arrested for disorderly behaviour after he "caused a scene" at the station, Mr Clement said.