Baby on knee, pizzas in car seat

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 10:31 11/12/2012

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Police found a family driving with a baby on someone's knee, while the car seat was used to hold pizzas.

The vehicle was stopped in Hamilton at a checkpoint on Knighton Rd shortly after 9pm on Friday night, while hours later police stopped a vehicle on Memorial Drive that had been carrying out burnouts on a crowded Hood St.

The car's 25-year-old male driver was arrested and processed for drink driving after he blew a result of 523mgs while two 19-year-old female passengers were taken home by police after they were reported as being upset and yelling at the driver to stop what he was doing.

More than 1500 police staff across the country took part in the weekend blitz.

During the operation, staff across all 12 New Zealand police districts focused on alcohol-related offending, including drink driving, assaults, and licensing breaches, while police in all Australian jurisdictions had the same focus.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said the operation had resulted in 448 arrests, 170 reported assaults, 135 license breaches and 364 drink drive offences across the country.

By comparison, in 2011 there were 340 arrests, 94 assaults, 63 licence breaches and 373 drink drive offences following the same police operation.

"If you look at the drink drive offences for example, that's 364 people that we shared our roads with who put not only themselves and their passengers at risk, but every other innocent road user as well," Griffiths said.

Griffiths said although the operation had ended, police would continue to maintain a very strong focus on alcohol-related offending, particularly in the lead up to the festive season.

This included participation in ANZPAA's Operation Crossroads, focusing on reducing road deaths and trauma over the holiday period from 21 December to 7 January 2013.

Griffiths warned that alcohol abuse was not just a police problem, ''it's a community issue too''.

''The challenge to all of us as individuals, friends, families and whanau is to confront our drinking habits and do our part to stay safe, so that we can all be around to enjoy next Christmas."

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- Waikato Times

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