'Disappointing' Mardi Gras farewell

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 11:10 30/06/2014

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Almost a dozen drivers have been caught drink driving following the Ohakune Mountain Mardi Gras after they ignored police warnings.

Central District Road Policing Manager Inspector Dave White said the results from the weekend were ''disappointing''.

The event, on Saturday night, attracted about 7000 people to Ohakune, to party in the shadow of Mt Ruapehu.

Police checkpoints stopped just short of 5000 vehicles, catching out 11 drivers who were over the limit.

A further 12 people were arrested for breach of the liquor ban and disorderly behaviour, six people had their licences suspended and 151 infringements were issued for speed offences.

Drivers did not appreciate how long alcohol stayed in their system, White said.

Some drivers had only ceased drinking a few hours before they were stopped at the police checkpoint.

''While the behaviour at the Mardi Gras was positive, the next morning told a different story.
"Seven drivers were caught before midday well over the legal limit. This is extremely disappointing and frustrating that despite all our warnings these people were willing to gamble with their life and the lives of others on the road."

The police operation included support from Horizons District Council Road safety coordinators, and a road safety information stand was set up in the Ohakune township to provide road safety information.

''The majority of motorists are responsible however some are still not getting the message. It's simple; don't drink and drive. If we can all play our part in keeping the roads safe we can ensure that we all get to our destinations safely and without harm,'' White said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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