Don't be stupid this silly season

20:10, Nov 19 2012
Senior Sergeant Maggie Windle, of Invercargill, says people need to use common sense during the upcoming holiday season.
TAKE CARE: Senior Sergeant Maggie Windle, of Invercargill, says people need to use common sense during the upcoming holiday season.

Invercargill police have issued a stern warning ahead of the holiday season, after several alcohol-related arrests during the weekend.

Senior Sergeant Maggie Windle said yesterday there had been 22 arrests between Friday evening and Monday morning, including 11 on Saturday night.

While some of the arrests were for offences related to family violence, all the arrests on Saturday were alcohol-related and included disorderly behaviour, breaching the liquor ban and offensive behaviour.

Eight people were caught drink-driving either by preventative patrols or after concerned members of the public reported worrying driver behaviour, with some motorists more than twice the legal limit, Ms Windle said.

Those arrested were a range of ages. Alcohol-related offending happened mostly in the city's CBD. Police warned they would continue to take alcohol-related offending seriously.

"I think that people need to be aware if they are drinking alcohol - there's an increase in Christmas functions - make sure you have a nominated sober driver or use taxis, because we take [alcohol abuse] very seriously, particularly with motor vehicles and in public places," Ms Windle said.

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"We are looking at preventing alcohol harm in the community and we'll be increasing our presence accordingly."

Police would continue proactive, high-visibility foot and vehicle patrolling, regular checks of licensed and off-licence premises, and would also continue working with partners such as Maori wardens, the Invercargill City Council, and community patrols to reduce offending, Ms Windle said.

People needed to use common sense and think ahead if they planned to attend social events during the upcoming holiday season, she said. The public should stay in well-lit areas, have designated sober drivers and stay away from confrontation.

alana.dixon@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times