Police think it is “shocking” finding people under the new alcohol limit?

I’m starting to wonder about the Police communications strategy.

In just three hours at three different locations in the CBD last night, a team led by Sergeant Chris Painter issued 12 tickets for using cellphones while driving; 22 to “at risk drivers” breaching their licence conditions; 15 to drivers exceeding the speed limit, including 12 doing 11km or more over it; and 14 to drivers for intersection offences such as running red lights or ignoring stop signs.

As well, said Mr Painter, one driver was over the legal alcohol limit, and a “shocking” 34 were just under it.

Why is it “shocking” that people were under the limit…if their blitz was a month ago they would have ben well under the limit…now the limit has dropped and these drivers are still under it…and that is “shocking”?

What drugs are these cops taking?   

People are allowed, even entitled to drive if they are under the limit…why is this “shocking”?

What would be “shocking” is if there were hundreds of people driving well over the limit.

But one thing is nagging at me…is this another attempt at a zero tolerance policy with the Police..or this case a less than zero tolerance campaign.

Perhaps they will now apply this to speeding…expressing shock that thousands of motorists were driving on SH1 just under the 100km/h limit.


– NZ Herald



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  • Alright

    One can only hope hope Mr Painter was “misquoted” (it is not unknown for the MSM to do this). That, or he is just an idiot.

  • Andy

    Presumably he is expressing some disappointment that the 34 were “just” under the limit and therefore evaded being a result on his quota

  • Bombastic

    The police may also be shocked to learn that I didnt murder anyone today. Does any one else get the feeling the police regard us as though we are all retarded morons? Their PR suggests as much.

    • waldopepper

      police have very much adopted a them and us mentality unfortunately. they seem incapable of dealing with serious crime, drugs, murder, rape , gangs etc, so they have focused on turning ordinary law abiding citizens into criminals to give them an easy target and justify their existence i think.

  • Pete

    I drove to work this morning, at a shocking speed of 99 kph in a 100 kph limit.

    • EvoDriver

      Do you realise how much clear road I would have needed to pass you without breaking the speed limit of 100kph? About 2.741245 kilometers!!!!!

      • Sailor Sam

        Why would you need to overtake someone doing 98kph?
        Not doing so makes for a lot less stressful driving, keeps your blood pressre low andstill gets you where you wanna go.

        • EvoDriver

          Only a slight hint of sarcasm in my comment, I promise ;-)

    • Cadwallader

      Racey Devil! Mr Plod will need to go to church to come to terms with your miscreance.

    • Dog Breath

      I am much worse and hang my head in shame, I did 98kph.

  • Justsayn

    We need to (again) separate traffic matters from general policing. All this stupidity around traffic enforcement is detracting of the trust we ought to have in the police as a whole.

    • peterwn

      They are separate in practice. Could give the traffic police a makeover – distinctive uniforms and cars, name them ‘Traffic Officers’ instead of ‘Police’, and not use the ‘Sillitoe’ tartan. They can share corporate services, pool car purchase, IT, radio systems, etc.

      • Bombastic

        1.3 litre diesel Vauxhall Astras would be pretty “distinctive”.

      • Rosco

        Nope, sorry they are not. It may be the case in the major metropolitan areas, but in the smaller centres and the country, the majority of our Police are doing traffic duty as distinct from Police work. I live in a country area of the South Island and our local Cop (a great guy BTW) when on duty has a patrol area of many hundreds of sq KM’s, and he still has to do the normal Police work as well. I agree bring back dedicated traffic cops! (He’s currently driving a mufti so it shows where the emphasis is!)

        • peterwn

          Tweaks here would be far better than completely demerging ordinary police and traffic police. For example main highways should be policed by dedicated traffic police leaving minor roads to local police. This would take most of the heat off the local police as traffic policing ‘contacts’ by ordinary police would drop below the public squeal point. One of the main objectives of merging police and traffic officers was better utilisation – while general experience would indicate that there are advantages in some separation, a complete demerger would reduce policing efficiency in less populated areas served by minor roads. Even when there were dedicated traffic officers (the Government ones for main highways and council employed ones for towns, etc – the council ones over time merged with the Government ones), police officers would have had to do some traffic enforcement and attend to accidents involving death/ injury.

    • Yeah, right, whatever…

      You’re absolutely right & I could not agree more with you.
      If I remember correctly this is all down to John Banks’ election promise (1992 I think?) to have an extra 900 frontline police on the job. This was manifestly impossible to do so they simply turned the traffic officers, who everyone hated (most often with good reason) into police, who almost everyone regarded highly supported.
      End result, the sad state of affairs we have now.

      • waldopepper

        yes, we employed an ex traffic cop in a general capacity in our business at one point, and a more small minded sorry sad little man one would be pressed to find. he clearly missed the days of being in charge and we got rid of him quickly, but it gave me valuable insight into the mindset of traffic enforcement. bunch of control freaks with god complexes. to make the police do that job, its no wonder the publics faith in the police has diminished.

  • EvoDriver

    I thought that was an odd comment in the Herald today.

    The pedantic side of me also notices that the sub-headline said “Police crackdown finds motorists flouting speed, alcohol, seatbelt and cellphone laws”, although, there was actually only “one motorist” flouting the alcohol laws, not “motorists”.

  • Chief Wiggum

    The Herald has been slated on this site for ages now, which I agree with. What seems to be conveniently forgotten however is that when something is reported in the Herald from Police it is PR. Perhaps it is a Herald spin yet again….they are well known for misrepresenting things. Speak to a reporter for 10 minutes and one sentence will be used…best to use common sense.

    • Wallace Westland

      You could be right, however you can’t deny the police have lost a lot of goodwill around the lowering of the drinking limit from 0.8 to 0.5 when we all know that the people that drove in that range weren’t the problem any more than someone doing 106kp/h is in good conditions.
      Topping it off with a zero tolerance campaign at the same time and targeting people try to get past menaces holding everyone up by sitting at the end of passing lanes was just the icing on the cake.
      And no good throwing out that the lowering was done by parliament, the legislation has been being pushed by police for years.

  • I am sick of listening to the Police moralising on this issue. I am aware of people being tested at check points and having to endure similar moralising despite them being under the limit. In an incident last year my wife was told that she would have failed if she was under 25. F#ck me she’s 56 and the cop knew that because he was holding her license. They are employed to admister the law and not sermons.

    • ex-JAFA

      I hope he pointed out to your good wife that, had she been in possession of a weapon, she would’ve also been guilty of being in possession of a weapon?

      • Imogen B

        Just as well she didn’t point that out, or she’d be frog marched to the cells as a terror suspect, or charged with threatening behaviour!

  • Shoreboy57

    Police shocked the public obey the law – what next?

    • peterwn

      Treasury may notice and recommend to Bill that he cuts police/ TANZ enforcement budgets.

  • oldmanNZ

    It means they are having 34 people under the limit is shocking, they were expecting more to be over.

    I think they may soon find that not many people driving over 50 km/h in a 50km/h very shocking, I mean who can drive that slow all the time. (with the zero tolerance atittude)

    If that happens, they have to start reducing the speed limits.

  • sheppy

    You’d have thought they’d have learnt after their zero tolerance contributed to more than doubling the xmas road toll compared to last year. But no, despite only getting $240 in fines from their dangerous zero tolerance speeding policy they persist.
    Increasing the xmas toll from 7 to 17 should result in whoever thought of this disgrace losing their jobs rather than being allowed to carry on regardless.
    The only thing that’s shocking here is the conduct of the police!

  • Greg M

    All these police personnel feeling shocked at 34 people legally driving under the alcohol limit, may explain why it has taken them three days to not even turn up at my old mums place to investigate some dropkick breaking the door down and pinching her telly.

    My patience with their priorities is starting to wear a bit thin.

    • ex-JAFA

      They’re a lot quicker if you tell them the crim spilled blood at the scene. Quicker still if you tell them you spilt it for them and are in a position to do so again.

    • Saggy

      Tell the police you gave chase but had to desist as they went over 50km/h.

  • Curly1952

    I am fast losing respect for policemen plod. It is important that the community as a whole continue to support the police but the coppers are making it very hard to do so with their rhetoric.
    They have gone out of there way over the years to build their reputation but are now making real asses of themselves over these new laws.

  • Ilovelife

    Those clowns are making complete fools of themselves and fast losing any respect from the public.

  • Michael

    So what they are saying is that no one should drink and drive at all. I thought they were there to enforce the law not make it up as they go?

  • InnerCityDweller

    Tells me they’re thinking that a fraction below the limit is basically the same as just above. If only they had been stopped what, 20 minus earler?

  • Wallace Westland

    This nothing more than the fun police and the hand wringing teatotal having a wine (heheh)

    The cops like all so called guardians want everyone wrapped in cotton wool.

    They and the hand wringers will only be happy when alcohol is restricted to the elite few that have access to police bars (and free rides home from their on duty mates)

    The the hand wringers will only be happy if alcohol is banned completely or at least priced out of the reach of anyone except overpaid politicians and trust fund liberal elite beneficiaries.

  • Grumpy of Onehunga

    It’s shocking that they didn’t meet their quota of ticketed drunk drivers, so their income is down below target.

  • Watcher

    Dear sgt Painter,
    May I apologise on behalf of those shocking 34 citizens for obeying the law.
    But you showed em didn’t you, by calling them out in the media.
    Well done carry on.

  • idbkiwi

    Got to say think I may have agreed with every comment here, and I think the general theme is for the bureaucops to back off with their stupid public statements and pushing the “reduce alcohol harm” and “zero tolerance” memes’.

    How much did the bureaucops siphon off from front-line property-crime resources to, successfully, fight the (democratically elected) Wellington City Councils proposed liquor-licensing bylaws? The WCC reckons it cost them over $180,000 in process. Could that money be better spent by the coppers than fighting a democratic decision? Like for instance: fighting crime? How about actually showing an interest in Greg M’s (below) mother’s break-in?

    Bureaucops are destroying the image and job-satisfaction of the good guys; the actual boys (and girls) in blue.

  • Tom

    A shocking number of police have sexual intercourse with people JUST over the age of consent.

    Gotta be the stupidest press release of the last decade

  • damm good thrashing

    People don’t seem to understand that this is shocking because it is costing the police money. No fines you see.

  • Nz front

    The bobbies don’t like losing money, when they get things very wrong.