'Bloody idiots' still on the road
If you drink and drive, you are a bloody idiot appears to be a message some young drivers in South Canterbury are still not getting.
However the message from Timaru police is that more drink-drivers are being caught as their focus on the problem is increased.
At least three young drivers people fell into the category of those not getting the message at the weekend.
The worst offender, a 19-year-old Timaru man, was stopped and blew 865 micrograms per litre of breath - more than twice the legal adult limit of 400mcg.
The limit for anyone under the age of 20 is zero.
A 17-year-old who blew 269mcg was also processed for drink-driving at the weekend, making that driver the youngest offender over the two-day period.
An 18-year-old Timaru youth was also caught drink-driving, blowing 477mcg, also over the adult limit.
Senior Sergeant Randel Tikitiki said the problem was not likely to be growing. Instead, police were taking a harder stance against young drivers breaking the law.
"Because we are policing it a lot harder, we are catching more people. We're keeping a lid on the amount of offending."
Those drivers under 20 who are caught with breath alcohol readings of 150mcg or less can be fined $200.
Anyone with a reading between 150mcg and 400mcg can face a maximum fine of $2250, three-month disqualification or imprisonment.
Those caught with reading of 400mcg or more will face the same penalty as adults do.
That penalty, if the offence is a first, includes up to three months' imprisonment, a $4500 fine and a minimum of three months' driver disqualification.
The Timaru Herald