Drink driving

Wasting police time, or community relations?

New Plymouth police have been rapped over the knuckles by national headquarters for taking a hospitable approach to those asking for a breath test.

It was reported earlier this month that people often entered the station asking to be tested. Officers, if not too busy, were happy to oblige.

However, New Plymouth police have now been told their approach does not line up with national policy – and that they should stop immediately.

“While these staff have acted in good faith and with the best of intentions, there is a risk if for example someone initially passes a test, then drives and is found later to be over the limit, or is involved in a crash, which could have tragic consequences,” Central Districts Acting District Commander Inspector Mark Harrison said.

Have we now turned into the United States, where people in official capacities are stopped from assisting the public out of kindness, in case there is a mistake and it causes some liability? ¬† Read more »

Speeding and alcohol, yet more than a little over the limit

Police are stunned a woman who was almost five times over the drink-driving limit – and speeding – did not kill anyone.

Yeah. ¬†That doesn’t fit the narrative, does it? ¬†Speeding and drinking and she didn’t kill herself and others.

Constable Tim Shearer, of Waimate, said police had been alerted to a vehicle driving dangerously after receiving a *555 call.

The Timaru woman, 43, was stopped by police doing 149kmh at 4.15pm on State Highway 1, about 40km south of Timaru.

It was “scary” the woman was on SH1, Shearer said.

“I received the complaint and went looking for her and then she drove past me at 149kmh. I turned around, chased her and caught up. And when I pulled her over she was smashed,” Shearer said.

The woman blew 1201mcg in an alcohol breath test.

Surely she had killed someone? ¬†149 km/h? ¬† And blind drunk? ¬† Read more »

Stubborn Police aren’t listening to… everyone else


“We got it wrong”.

A statement you won’t get from Police on the failed speed tolerance experiment.

Police will continue their crackdown on speed and alcohol after a holiday period in which 17 people died on the country’s roads.

The toll is more than double those of the same holiday period in each of the last two years.

There was a high number of fatalities despite last month’s introduction of a lower breath alcohol limit and police discretion to enforce a zero speed limit.

Yep.  So it failed.


Read more »

Automobile Association ignores elephant in the room


AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen said over the last two years very low numbers of people were killed on the roads during the holidays, at six and seven deaths.

“Unfortunately, this year, we’ve seen it go back up to at least 16. That takes us back to basically where we were three years ago, where there were 19 people killed,” he said.

Yes.  So, your conclusion Mr Dylan Thomsen?

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Repeat drunk driver won’t be deported


Of course he won’t. ¬†It’s all about catching us 1 km/h over the limit, and not actually dealing with the real problems that kill people on our road.

A recidivist drink driver who drunkenly ploughed into two young girls on a suburban street has successfully fought deportation after arguing it would be unduly harsh to separate him from his sick wife.

Fereti Aiono, 29, was jailed in July 2012 after he hit two girls then aged 11 and 7 who were walking along a suburban Manurewa street.

Aiono, travelling at speed, went off the road after he swerved to avoid another vehicle. The girls were flung over a fence by the impact and received serious injuries.

The younger girl was in a coma for 10 days and in hospital for months. Read more »

Lower speed and alcohol tolerances a complete failure: 16 dead


This is such a fast moving situation, we’re now up to 16 fatalities, two more since I wrote about this early this morning.

Can we please dispense with the ridiculous idea that fining good people solves the problem of those that are stuffing it up at the extreme end?

A person has died today from their injuries sustained in a Boxing Day crash, bringing the holiday road toll to 16. Read more »

Judges need to harden up

If we can get done for one kilometer over the speed limit, why is a doctor getting away with being four times over the drink driving limit?

A doctor living in Blenheim has been discharged without conviction after she was caught drink-driving at more than four times the legal limit.

Wendy Louise McDonald Florence, 50, appeared in the Blenheim District Court for sentencing on the charge last Monday, after driving with a blood-alcohol level of 326 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood on September 8.

The legal limit at the time was 80mg, and is now 50mg.

Her lawyer Rob Harrison argued for a discharge without conviction on her behalf.

Florence was a qualified doctor in the United States, but had spent some time as a stay-at-home mother of her children in Blenheim, he said.

She intended to become a registered doctor in New Zealand, which would require a refresher course in the States, followed by a supervised training programme in New Zealand.

Harrison told the court his client had been a sober alcoholic for 10 years.

Bulldust. ¬†There’s a lie in court right there. ¬† The odds of a alcie going off the wagon for the first time, that spectacularly¬†and getting caught drink driving are minuscule. ¬†¬† Read more »

Too drunk to drive?

The new lower alcohol limits for drink drivers is having its expected effect.  People who are perfectly fine to drive are now having to pay money.

Some drivers caught out by the new limit were “surprised” to discover they were too drunk to drive, he said.

At the weekend, Canterbury police launched an operation to crackdown on drink-drivers.

The total number of motorists caught drink-driving across the city was not available last night, but a checkpoint in Halswell tested 1763 drivers over a three-hour period with one driver returning an excess breath alcohol of over the old 400mcg limit, and three others giving a result of between 250mcg and 400mcg.

Canterbury police have vowed to test drivers at any time of day that they are pulled over.

Drivers who fail an alcohol test between the new and old limits avoid a criminal conviction but receive a $200 fine, 50 demerit points and are banned from driving for the next 12 hours.

Read more »

Sleeping it off? Probably not

With the new lower alcohol limits, people are discovering they are still over the limit when they drive home the next day.

The morning after your Christmas party might be your downfall under new drink drive laws.

The new limits will add a couple of hours to your sobering-up time, warns an emergency department specialist, meaning you could still be over the limit as late as mid-morning.

And women are particularly at risk of falling foul of the law, says clinical toxicologist Dr Paul Quigley.

“Even if females stop drinking at 1am and then go to bed and sleep they will still be over the legal limit at 10am. Under the old drink-driving levels they would just squeak under at 8am.”

The legal alcohol count for drivers aged 20 and over was lowered from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, or 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath (previously 400) on December 1.

Quigley expects more people will be ticketed by police in the mornings as stricter levels mean on average it will take men about an extra hour to fall below the new alcohol limit the next day, and up to two hours for women.

It’s getting to the point of “don’t drink and drive for 24 hours”.
Read more »

This isn’t a case of drink driving – surely this is something much worse?


A pregnant woman who fled police after being stopped at a checkpoint on her way home for a night out drinking was “grossly intoxicated”, police say.

The 24-year-old woman, who was also a disqualified driver, failed to stop at the checkpoint in central Nelson, resulting in a short pursuit at about 3.20am, Sergeant David Lauer said.

The woman fled through a 50kmh residential area near Nelson Hospital at speeds of 70kmh for about a kilometre, before being pulled over by police.

She produced a reading of 938 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath – almost four times the new blood alcohol limit.

The woman was three months pregnant and “grossly intoxicated”, Lauer said.¬† Read more »