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Drivers blitzed

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 05:00 02/04/2010

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THE number of drink-drivers caught in a recent North Shore blitz is up on previous stings, police say.

Operation Lock-Down ran over five weekends recently, with 8834 vehicles stopped and their drivers breath-tested at 16 checkpoints.

More than 570 drivers were found to have drunk alcohol before driving, and 69 tested positive for excess breath alcohol.

Of these, 22 drivers chose to have blood tests to determine whether they need to go to court.

Seven of the drinking drivers detected were teenagers.

North Shore police sergeant Chris McKenzie says that though the number of vehicles stopped at checkpoints is lower than at previous operations, the ratio of drivers over the legal breath-alcohol limit has increased.

Operation Lock-Down saw locations "swamped" with compulsory breath testing sites on Friday and Saturday nights.

Police from Waitakere, Rodney, and the Traffic Alcohol Group were also involved. Eight other drivers were arrested for offences involving drugs, or driving while disqualified, failing to stop, and reckless driving.

A total of 15 drivers had their licences suspended, and 12 vehicles were impounded.

Further operations are being planned.

Mr McKenzie says North Shore road policing staff are remaining vigilant in testing and apprehending drunk drivers at any time and place.

"If you're going to drink, don't drive," he says.

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- North Shore Times

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