Booze takes toll in Queenstown

"Alcohol abuse" was to blame for almost every arrest made in Queenstown over the weekend, which included the detoxification of a 40-year-old Queenstown woman so drunk she could not stand or remember her address, police say.

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Queenstown, said the woman was attempting to head home in a taxi at 5am on Saturday but "gave the driver the wrong address".

"She was extremely intoxicated, to the point she couldn't stand on her own or tell anyone her actual address. She was brought back to the police station for detoxification and was released at 9am".

Sgt Newell said six drink-drivers were arrested and a further nine people arrested for disorderly behaviour or violence, "all caused by alcohol abuse".

They included a 19-year-old Auckland man, charged with drink-driving on Beetham St after a breath-alcohol test gave a reading of 1086mcg - 686mcg over the legal limit - at 11.45pm; a 16-year-old Invercargill girl charged with drink-driving on Frankton Rd at 3.08am on Saturday, who had a breath-alcohol level of 539mcg - "well over the adult limit"; and an 18-year-old Bluff male arrested in Cow Lane for fighting at 4.06am.

"When he was spoken to, he couldn't recall he was in Queenstown. He thought he was in Invercargill," Sgt Newell said.

"The aftermath of the Queenstown Winter Festival opening party kept police busy. Heavy rain helped the situation, but there were still far too many arrests."

At 1.40am a 23-year-old French man was left with a broken nose after being involved in a fight inside a Queenstown bar. It was the first of several incidents in the early hours which involved violence and were caused by intoxicated people.

The trouble continued at 6.30am yesterday when an 18-year-old Temuka man was processed for drink-driving after the car he was driving "ended up in a ditch" on Moke Lake Rd near Queenstown.

His breath-alcohol level was 271mcg. The legal limit for a person under the age of 20 is zero.

Sgt Newell said all the offending had occurred "in the early hours".

"I just wish we could go out and enjoy things without getting boozed up."


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