Baby in car shocks

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 09:45 11/12/2012

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Police found a family driving with a baby on somone's knee, while the car seat was used to hold pizzas.

The vehicle was stopped in Hamilton at a checkpoint on Knighton Rd shortly after 9pm on Friday night, while hours later police stopped a vehicle on Memorial Drive that had been carrying out burnouts on a crowded Hood St.

The car's 25-year-old male driver was arrested and processed for drink driving after he blew a result of 523mgs while two 19-year-old female passengers were taken home by police after they were reported as being upset and yelling at the driver to stop what he was doing.

More than 1500 police staff across the country took part in the weekend blitz while in the Waikato 104 police staff worked on Friday night and 63 on Saturday. A number of Maori wardens also helped with the operation.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said the operation had resulted in 448 arrests, 170 reported assaults, 135 license breaches and 364 drink drive offences across the country.

By comparison, in 2011 there were 340 arrests, 94 assaults, 63 license breaches and 373 drink drive offences following the same police operation.

"If you look at the drink drive offences for example, that's 364 people that we shared our roads with who put not only themselves and their passengers at risk, but every other innocent road user as well," Mr Griffiths said.

Waikato figures included 60 arrests, 39 breath alcohol offences, 8 assaults, 14 advice/resources given to youth, 3 youth liquor warnings, 13 adult breach of liquor ban warnings, and 9 liquor license breaches.

During the operation, staff across all 12 New Zealand Police districts focused on alcohol-related offending, including drink driving, assaults, and licensing breaches, while police in all Australian jurisdictions had the same focus.

Mr Griffiths said although the operation had ended, Police would continue to maintain a very strong focus on alcohol related offending, particularly in the lead up to the festive season.

This included participation in ANZPAA's Operation Crossroads, focusing on reducing road deaths and trauma over the holiday period from 21 December to 7 January 2013.

"Police across New Zealand will be out in force throughout the Christmas holiday season targeting drink driving, drunken behaviour and other alcohol related offending,'' he said.

However, he warned that alcohol abuse was not just a Police problem, ''it's a community issue too''.

''The challenge to all of us as individuals, friends, families and whanau is to confront our drinking habits and do our part to stay safe, so that we can all be around to enjoy next Christmas."

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Operation Unite: The numbers (Waikato)

60 Arrests
39 Breath Alcohol Offences
8 Assaults
14 Advice/Resources given to youth
3 Youth liquor warnings
13 Adult breach of liquor ban warnings
16 Taken home or to the sobering-up unit
9 Liquor license breaches

- © Fairfax NZ News

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