Nearly 4500 West Auckland drivers breath-tested

Published: Mon 21 Sep 2015 09:51 AM
Nearly 4500 West Auckland drivers breath-tested during Rugby World Cup drink-drive operation
Nearly 4 and a half thousand drivers in West Auckland have been breath tested as part of Police operation targeting drink driving around the Rugby World Cup.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Waitemata Police ran checkpoints in the New Lynn and Henderson areas, stopping and testing a total of 4373 drivers.
“Over those three nights, we had 43 people who were over the limit.
In a perfect world we’d have none, but 43 out of 4373 is on the lower end and we’d like to think this indicates that more people are thinking twice about drinking and driving” says Inspector Trevor Beggs, Road Policing Manager, Waitemata Police.
Twenty drivers were over the new lower limit of 250mcg, recording levels between 250- 400.
These drivers were issued with a $200 infringement fee and 50 demerit points.
A further 23 drivers were found to be over 400 mcg and are now facing criminal charges of driving with excess breath alcohol.
“All 43 people also had the additional embarrassment of having to arrange someone else to come and pick them up, or drive their car home” says Inspector Beggs.
Police also dealt with a number of very nervous people who failed the initial roadside breath test (where drivers are asked to speak into the handheld device) because the presence of alcohol was detected.
A number were ordered to pull over and carry out a second test, by blowing into a tube attached to the device.
“We had quite a few people who blew under 250mcg but had obviously consumed a few drinks in the hours before they drove.
One man had been at a wedding and had a few glasses of champagne with his meal – he was visibly shaken when our officer told him he’d failed the first test and would need to do a further test and he was so nervous he struggled to park his car properly.
“Another lady who also failed the first test told our officer she’d had a couple of glasses of wine, she had a child in the back and also appeared alarmed at the prospect of being over the limit.
While both of them actually blew under 250mcg in the second test, it was obviously alarming to them.
This is a reminder to people that you can save yourself the worry about whether you may or may not be over, by not drinking in the first place” he says.
Waitemata Police will continue to focus on drink driving throughout the Rugby World Cup and checkpoints will also be carried out in the mornings.
“If you’re having a big night out, getting home late and you’ve got work in the morning then take a taxi or get the bus.
We’ll be out and about and drivers can expect to be stopped anywhere, at anytime” he says.

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