Wellington Scoop

Police alarmed – 34,000 Wellington drivers checked, 200 over the limit

News from NZ Police
Wellington Police have have tested over 34,700 drivers for alcohol since November, with more than 200 of the drivers processed for driving with excess breath alcohol.

“This is an alarmingly high number and Police are concerned that people are putting themselves and others at risk,” says Wellington District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Derek Orchard.

“For every 175 vehicles we stop, one driver tested excess for breath alcohol. No one should ever get behind a wheel when they are impaired by drugs or alcohol, and no one should get in a vehicle with a driver who is in that state either. It’s not worth risking your life.”

This weekend, Wellington District Road Policing apprehended 26 impaired drivers.

“When you’re making your plans for going out, make sure they include how you’re getting home. Be realistic – if you think you may end up drinking, don’t drive. It is that simple. Plan ahead and get a ride from your family or mates, catch a bus, share a cab with friends, or nominate a sober driver for the night. Getting home safely is more important than worrying about a cab fare.”

Wellington District Police will continue to be out in force on our roads to ensure everyone gets the message about road safety.

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News from NZ Police
Thirty Wellington district police staff were rostered throughout the day on Saturday, and were gathered from Hutt Valley Police to keep the punters safe at the Wellington Cup race meeting at Trentham this weekend.

Despite their best efforts at getting the message home, there were a few who “over-did it,” says Hutt Valley Area Response Manager, Senior Sergeant Haley Ryan.

Only two arrests were made for disorderly behaviour after the races, she said, however 15 people were evicted, six tested positive for driving while intoxicated and a man was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack.

A number of race-goers spoke to Senior Sergeant Ryan during the day and expressed their approval seeing Police mixing with the attendees and creating a positive atmosphere.

KiwiRail put on extra trains which large numbers of people took advantage of, however the Road Policing Team found a number of drivers were still drinking too much.

“We screened over 1,000 drivers at checkpoints near Trentham, 59 of them had to undergo evidential breath screening tests resulting in six of them being charged and summonsed to court later,” she says.

Despite this disappointing road policing result from the races, says Haley, it’s good to see the majority of people looking after their friends on race day, arranging rides for each other and enjoying themselves without needing to overindulge.

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  1. Traveller, 21. January 2020, 19:11

    The police are very easily alarmed and disappointed.

  2. Rich, 22. January 2020, 10:03

    I am always surprised to see the police are surprised by the amount of drink driving and distracted driving (phones) whenever they finally do a check on that. Maybe they need to hit the road a bit more often and see what’s going on out there!? The chance of getting caught is minimal and people know it.

  3. Groggy, 22. January 2020, 12:11

    Isolated statistics are pretty meaningless. 200/34700 = 0.006% – is that better or worse than the 2018 Christmas season? What is the ongoing trend? Is the % increasing or decreasing? Possibly publishing complete data might not support their alarmist message? The race day 6/1000 result is bang on the overall rate for the season … so why were Police surprised? Basic back of a fag packet modelling should have led them to expect that many failed results.

  4. LT, 22. January 2020, 12:52

    I don’t know what has happened in the last few years but in the past (5 to 10 years ago) I used to be checked 3 or 4 times a year, especially when I was living in the Auckland region. In the last 3 years, since we moved back to Wellington, I haven’t been checked once. Is it only me or have they reduced the number of checks ?

  5. Rich, 22. January 2020, 16:50

    @LT: Same, I was in Auckland for 9 months (2014) and got checked multiple times around Beach Road, even in the middle of the morning. In 10 years in Wellington I have been checked twice as far as I can remember and never in the last 8 years or so.