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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

The number of impaired drivers Police in the Bay of Plenty have been catching is alarming. And it’s just not acceptable, according to Bay of Plenty Road Policing Manager, Inspector Logan Marsh.

The results right across the district show intoxicated drivers are being caught day and night, some with ridiculous levels. It’s a big mix of society across all demographics.

Inspector Marsh says the figures need to create a conversation.

“These people are sharing the roads with our family, our friends, and our colleagues. The actions of drivers who get behind the wheel when they’re impaired puts all road users at risk – and our staff see the devastating consequences on a far too frequent basis.”

And with the Christmas season and afterwork drinks starting, he fears the results will only get worse unless attitudes change.

The latest result on Wednesday night included an operation by Coastal Impairment Prevention Team (IPT) which saw ten drivers facing drink drive prosecution with one motorist recording a breath alcohol level of 1021- more than four times the limit.

Sergeant Mark Holmes agrees that while alarming, the numbers are indicative of what other recent checkpoints in the area have found.

As well as facing prosecution, two drivers had their vehicles immediately impounded while a further three had their licences suspended immediately because their reading was over 650. They’ll then face further suspensions as part of the court process.

The legal alcohol limit for a fully licensed driver over 20 is 250mcg per litre of breath. It’s a zero limit for under 20.

Only two weeks ago, a two-hour checkpoint near Omokoroa caught nine people driving impaired. And it’s not just in the evenings they’re being caught.

“Last week we stopped several people during the day with readings far exceeding the limit, including a person with a breath alcohol level of 1100 and another with a reading of 754 at 10am.

It’s not uncommon for us to be catching people driving impaired as early as 8am or 9am.”

The results are a stark reminder why it’s so important that every driver stopped by Police is tested.

“Motorists can expect to be stopped and breath tested anywhere, at any time.”


Issued by Police Media Centre