Woman in checkpoint chase with police
Tauranga police officers had to scramble for their lives as a woman sped through a drink-driving checkpoint, twice over the legal drink-driving limit and with four children in her car.
Chased and caught by police, her reading checked in at over 1000 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, Acting Sergeant Lee Stringer of the Western Bay of Plenty traffic alcohol group said.
The legal limit is 400mcg.
''This woman driver burst through our checkpoint risking the lives of police staff and then fled from police,'' he said.
''She failed to stop for police and drove at speed through a posted 50kmh area. When eventually stopped the lone female driver was found to have four children in her vehicle aged between eight and 11.''
A 29-year-old woman would appear in Tauranga District Court on Friday, charged with driving with excess breath alcohol, failing to stop for police and dangerous driving, he said. This matter had been referred to Child, Youth and Family.
She was one of 22 people to face drink driving charges in the Tauranga District Court as a result of the second weekend of a police operation in the area.
''The Traffic Alcohol Group alone has caught 37 drink-drivers this week, another stark reminder that people are willing to risk the lives of themselves their families and our communities to drink and drive,'' Stringer said.
The Group and traffic officers on Friday and Saturday had checkpoints around Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa.
Of the 22 drink drivers caught at the weekend only two were under the age of 20.
''This is an encouraging sign that our youth are now in a position to set a benchmark for the rest of the community".
As well as the 22 drink-drivers, eight vehicles were impounded and 14 driver licences were suspended due to the drivers' breath alcohol exceeding 650 micrograms per litre of breath.