Police launch booze blitz

"People do not need to die from silly mistakes."

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2013

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Taranaki police have fired a warning shot to drunk, speeding and unsafe drivers who venture out on the roads this holiday season.

Sergeant Stephen Richardson, of the Central District Road Policing group, said they would be stopping drivers "anywhere, any time."

"We are making the public aware that they need to be safe and responsible so that families get to their Christmas and New Year's destinations," he said.

The Taranaki Daily News was with police for their first "high-visibility" checkpoint of the summer season in Eltham yesterday.

It was one of three across the Central Police District. "One death is one too many; one hospitalisation is one too many," he said.

"People do not need to die from silly mistakes."

Armed with breathalysers and the police booze bus about 10 officers from the Traffic and Alcohol Group and Highway Patrol, joined by firefighters and St John ambulance staff, stopped close to 800 drivers. Officers were also checking licences and warrants of fitness, and Roadsafe Taranaki's Marion Webby was checking child restraints.

Mr Richardson said although none had exceeded the current limit, 18 may have been over the new alcohol limits soon to be imposed. He said another 35 were issued instant fines.

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The lower drink-driving limits from December are:

Great - too much carnage on our roads.

Overkill - targets moderate drinkers, not the heavies

Still too little - make it zero tolerance.

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Related story: Drink-drive limits lowered

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