Queenstown drink-drive levels concern

Last updated 16:54 15/07/2014

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Queenstown police have grave concerns about a spate of drivers caught with extremely high breath-alcohol readings.

Senior constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, today said concerns were sparked by six drivers picked up with breath-alcohol levels in the 900mcg to 1000mcg range since early last month.

The readings spiked at almost 1200mcg – three times the legal limit of 400mcg for an adult holding a full driver's licence.

''There are grave concerns with police – and there should be in the wider community, too – that in weeks drink-drivers have been apprehended with breath alcohol readings that reveal these people were grossly intoxicated,'' Blackford said.

''It's in everyone's best interests to get these people off the road.''

In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, two men were disqualified from driving for eight and nine months and fined $1000 and $1200 respectively for driving with breath-alcohol levels of 1010mcg and 1147mcg.

A 25-year-old woman with a reading of 1020mcg was sentenced to 100 hours' community work and six months' supervision.

All were picked up by patrols between June 12 and Saturday.

''These people are not just police problems, but problems for the whole community," Blackford said.

"Like the ads said, if you drink and drink you're a bloody idiot, but if it stops someone from drinking and driving you're a bloody hero. More people need to be heroes.''

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- The Southland Times

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