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?  

Senior Sergeant Mark Offen was disturbed by the behaviour of the woman, who chose to get behind the wheel.

“All the risk factors were there. It is more than disappointing. In those circumstances it was surprising it didn’t end in police having to knock on someone’s door to notify of injury or death.”

Offen believed it was time for drivers to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

He was unable to say what the woman was charged with, but he believed dangerous driving would be a guarantee, and it could be increased to reckless driving once all inquiries were completed.

Well, it goes to show, you can’t use a single occasion to prove a long term trend.  Just as well the police are ticketing all those people going 51 km/h and 101 km/h because that’s where the deaths must be occurring then.


– Timaru Herald


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  • Honcho

    I don’t know where you are going with this, these are the idiots that need to be targeted.

    You cannot stop them by widening the goal posts, you are only making a criminal of the tradey and the farmer having a harmless pint and a catch up at their local, they are never going to kill themselves at 250mcg, but they could well become withdrawn from the world and caught by their own black dog if you deny them the chance to socialise and de-stress, which is a far bigger killer in this country than people who are between 250 and 400mcg.

    The big fish drink drivers are the ones killing themselves and others, aways have been, always will be. Moving to a zero alcohol tolerance won’t stop a disqualified drink driver from getting behind the wheel and blowing twice the old limit, and neither will the judiciary for that matter.

    • TSD

      Though the application of custodial sentences would at least prevent their access to the roads for a time.

  • Greg M

    This is where Police and court resources need to be used, not wasted stopping every car leaving the town centre at 9 pm, and pinging people for doing 102 kmh at the end of a passing lane.

  • steve and monique

    The Police are going about this all wrong and making criminals of good honest hardworking people. You lower the tolerance of speeding to zero and make the drinking limit one glass and it’s only going to affect those of us who are responsible, it won’t stop the reckless and dangerous morons such as this female. They are selfish and irresponsible and will continue to speed, drink and drive while disqualified (because that is never a deterrent either). Selfish idiots will always be selfish idiots, that’s the point. Change tact and start getting harder on cases like this and rethink this zero tolerance incentive. Clearly it is an epic fail.

    • 2rotorbro

      Take their licence’s off them and if they want to drive again they start again from scratch – learners, restricted etc. Mind you the type of selfish people we are dealing with here that probably wouldn’t be a deterrent either.

      • johcar

        No, I disagree.

        Take their license off them FOR LIFE.

        If they are caught behind the wheel ever again, go directly to jail.

        Seize the vehicle they were driving – I don’t care if it belongs to their employer / friend / HP company.

        I don’t care that taking their license off them may hurt their chances of getting/keeping a job.

        It’s time there were consequences to actions.

        • Whitey

          Vehicle seizures are a good idea, and I think there need to be more custodial sentences for behaviour like this. Taking their license off them doesn’t seem to be a very effective deterrent for this type of driver. That said, I think the Police should be doing more to target disqualified/unlicensed drivers. They can issue fines for that too, so I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to do it.

          • Jdogg

            Oh but, no. Poor Billy’s lawyer tells the judge that Billy needs his car so he can “go to work” and “take the kids to school” their whole lives would be messed up. Cue back on the roads in the blink of an eye. This is what we’re facing.

          • Whitey

            Of course, how callous of me. I’d forgotten poor little Billy’s human rights.

  • oldmanNZ

    I am in Australia at the moment, the speed limit is 110 on motorways, and 60 in most streets, then tbere is 70 in places as well.

    The roads here is worst than nz(make me think we spend too much on our roads making then super smooth),

    how am i going to adjust when i get home?

    • D.Dave

      You will have to join a support group of like minded people………..or come to Chch where most of the roads are not super smooth. After that you could venture further out of town to smoother roads and slowly rehabilitate yourself.

    • Mad Captain

      Cover one eye and fix the other on the speedo.

  • cows4me

    Bet the copper was rubbing his hands together, almost like winning lotto.

    • peterwn

      No, the police officer would be heaving a sigh of relief at not having to be the first on the scene of a fatality. Traffic police officers often have no choice, the chiefs decreed some time back they have to issue an infringement or offence notice. In the dim distant past a traffic officer would write a ticket and endorse it as ‘warning’ as evidence of ‘contact’ but no more AFAIK. Like it or not, the number of notices an officer issues is an important performance indicator to show the officer is not goofing off and to show TANZ that the traffic policing budget is being properly applied. If an officer is consistently issuing significant less than the average number of infringements, then there would appear to be performance issues that need addressing. The Police Sergeant at Taihape seemed to have been faced with this some years ago so conducted a personal speeding blitz to set an example. And by the way his staff were also effective at catching burglars, so he was obviously doing something right.

      • Soleman

        You state “traffic police officers often have no choice….” It is Police officers in general who have no choice. I know of a Detective who recently received a please explain as to why his traffic enforcement targets had not been met. Thank goodness it was not like this in my day (some time ago) – we had complete discretion in all we did, and certainly no targets to meet.

      • Michael_l_c

        The more ‘targeted’ cars that the police stop the more criminals they will catch, as most criminals travel around in a car & disregard most laws. Unfortunately police ‘dedicated’ to traffic work can get criticized for catching other criminals & being off the road doing the resultant paperwork.
        Personally I don’t care who catches the criminals so long as they are caught.

  • Whitey

    I agree with the Senior Sergeant. Nobody who takes responsibility for their actions would do what this woman did. Most of us as drivers do take responsibility for our actions, but there’s a number of serious offenders who don’t. If we were to investigate, we’d probably find this woman doesn’t take responsibility for herself in any area of her life.

    The justice system should be targeting serious drink drivers like this one and imposing actual consequences on them. No doubt this woman will get a slap on the wrist.

  • twr

    “Offen believed it was time for drivers to start taking responsibility for their own actions.” If only we could. Then we’d be able to drive at a safe and comfortable speed on appropriate roads without having to be constantly staring at the speedo.

  • Mad Captain

    Yes, these are the idiots that need policing, but you won’t catch them while sitting at the end of a passing lane looking for an easy ticket. For the rest of us I’d suggest that if you remove the revenue stream for speeding and dish out demerits only (commensurate with the number of kilometers over the limit) our traffic police would have more time to eliminate these fools from our roads and be freed from tax-collecting duties. I wouldn’t mind collecting one demerit for being one km over the limit – of course, they’d have to start issuing demerits from the speed cameras to achieve this.

    • DrFix

      And -2 demerit points if you go past a camera at 98?

      • Mad Captain

        And also if driving backwards

  • I.M Bach

    I don’t think locking up people who do dumb things in cars with hardened criminals is very productive, although not locking them up does nothing. What about a facility just for driving offences, with time served being on a simple, compulsory tier system depending on the severity of the offence? Impound and sell their vehicle on the spot to help cover costs. Then, when the prisoner is released give them a bill for the cost of their incarceration. If it goes unpaid, put them back in with fewer privileges. Having them work to feed themselves wouldn’t go amiss either, with excess vegies and the like going to the elderly or the poverty-stricken we hear so much about.

  • Mayan

    It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to drive while plastered. It’s kind of impressive, in a twisted sort of way.

  • ken

    I wonder how the officer caught her,,he would be sticking to 101 kmh in case he killed himself she 149 pure maths