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Police checkpoints nab ‘recidivist’ drivers

A ROAD policing operation in the Tairawhiti and Hawke's Bay regions from December 28 to January 2 netted 13 drink-drivers in the Mahia and Gisborne areas.

The road policing team carried out drink/drive checkpoints at Mahia and in the Gisborne CBD over that time frame.

“Over the six days, 2067 breath tests were conducted, an average of around 350 a day,” said Sergeant Steve Murray.

“This resulted in 13 drivers recording excess breath alcohol, with about half of them summonsed to court and the rest issued infringement notices.

“Many offenders were in the high range and most were recidivist drivers.

“The highest reading was 1034 micrograms/litre breath, which is really disappointing,” Sgt Murray said.

The operation also included a driver fatigue stop just north of Lake Tutira, where about 300 motorists were stopped, with most people travelling north for the holidays.

“At this location one driver blew over the legal limit at 10.30am, believing he was sober enough from a drinking session the night before.

“People should never ever drive when impaired by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue,” Sgt Murray said.

“It's your life on the line, and everybody else sharing the road with you.”

Other driver fatigue stops were undertaken at Nuhaka and Morere, with a full day spent on the three arterial routes in and out of Gisborne.

“Fortunately most drivers are doing the right thing on their journey.

“Most drivers responded positively to the police presence, even when deploying in areas where they weren't expected.

“While the majority of people are doing a great job on the road, there are a small minority who are not,” Sgt Murray said.

“And unfortunately, it just takes one person to make a bad decision, or a mistake, to have life-changing impacts on the road.

“We are committed to ensuring that every road user arrives alive at their journey's end and those who put others at risk will be found, prosecuted and held accountable.”

Sgt Murray said the most important message police want to convey was really simple — “Don't risk your life and that of others by driving while impaired in any way”.