Drink-drive shame: More than 100 motorists a month caught in Tauranga and Western Bay

Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty police alcohol checkpoints. Photo/NZME

Police have been cracking down on drunk driving over the summer, as recent data shows that about 105 people were arrested for DUI a month this year.

1 in 60 caught in recent surgery
Inconvenient to drive.

According to the latest police statistics, 950 drivers were arrested for DUI in Tauranga and Western Bay between January and September of this year. This included 880 adults and 70 of his under the age of 20 who were subject to the zero alcohol limit. Another 16 of him were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

Chief Sergeant Wayne Hunter, head of the Western Bay of Plenty’s road police team, said he expected drivers to be stopped and breath tested “anytime and anywhere” this summer.

At a recent roadside checkpoint in Tauranga, 17 drivers were arrested for DUI, Hunter said.

“It was 1 in 60 cars, and that number was very high. Some claim they didn’t know they were over the limit.

“Drunken drivers are routinely stopped on their way home from social gatherings or on their way to work the next morning,” he said.

“People need to plan ahead and organize a sober driver or take a taxi.”


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Hunter said driving while intoxicated can have “life-altering” consequences. Not only the driver, but his family, friends, work colleagues, and police and ambulance personnel regularly witness the devastating effects.

Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter, head of the Western Bay of Plenty Road Police Team. Photo/NZME
Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter, head of the Western Bay of Plenty Road Police Team. Photo/NZME

He said as of December 7, 12 clashes had resulted in 13 deaths on roads in Tauranga and Western Bay, at least three of which were caused by alcohol.

This compares to 15 deaths in calendar year 2021.

According to Hunter, many drivers still don’t realize that poor decisions can have serious consequences.

“It’s not only the risk of seriously injuring yourself or your passengers, but even worse, the risk of killing someone and having to live with it for the rest of your life.

“I could lose my driver’s license, my job, my travel abroad, my freedom.”

Hunter said police presence would be increased throughout the district during the summer.

“People can expect to be stopped anytime, anywhere. It’s not worth the risk. You’ll get caught.”


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Sergeant Mark Holmes of the Bay of Plenty Coastal Obstacle Prevention Team urged drivers to make a conscious decision not to get behind the wheel after drinking.

“Driving impairment is one of the four leading causes of death or serious injury on the road. If you are in doubt whether it is safe or legal to drive, our advice is simple – don’t drive. Please give me.

Holmes said 102 of the 8,513 drivers who stopped at 15 checkpoints at Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Papamoa and Tepoke on recent Friday and Saturday nights were treated for excess breath alcohol. I received

“Fourteen drivers had their licenses suspended immediately and six more had their vehicles seized,” he said.

Holmes said these results were “extremely disappointing”.

“We know it’s a social time this year and people are coming together to celebrate, but we hope that you’ll be able to return safely to your families for Christmas.”

Anyone arrested with an alcohol reading of 400 micrograms or more per liter of breath or 80 micrograms or more per 100 ml of blood faces prosecution.

According to Justice Department data, 716 drivers were convicted in the Tauranga District Court in the 12 months ending June 30, 2022.

Of these, 23 were sentenced to imprisonment, 26 to home detention and 27 to community detention.

In 2021, 1,208 drivers will be arrested for DUI at the Western Bay Police Department. This is his second highest number after his 1,428 drivers arrested in the Canterbury metro area.

Waka Kotahi said the number of road fatalities and serious injuries, including alcohol-related crashes, remained “unacceptably high” and worked with Road to Zero’s strategic partners to develop a “distribution policy” on road security and road safety. We will continue to work to improve performance. Road safety advertising and education.

Stacey Spall, president of the AA Bay of Plenty District Council and convener of the national convention, said she was concerned that the number of traffic fatalities remained high.

Stacey Spall, AA Bay of Plenty District Council Chair and National Convention Convener.
Stacey Spall, AA Bay of Plenty District Council Chair and National Convention Convener.

“The AA was part of our 2017 and 2020 election promises and has been a big supporter of stronger enforcement and penalties for DUIs and DUIs. Don’t miss the chance that it might be okay.

“Also, keep an eye on your friends and don’t let a friend who’s been drinking too much drive. It’s a good time to remind people to call a cab, provide a bed for the night, or take turns being a sober driver.” .

“We support local police on our roads with breath screening checkpoints and roadside tests to make our roads safer. The number of breath screening tests has declined in the Of Plenty area and it is great to see these numbers increase.”

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