Community newspaper names and shames drink drivers

The names have appeared on the front page of the Mountain Scene newspaper. Photo credit: Mountain Scene

A Queenstown newspaper is naming anyone convicted of drink driving in the Lakes District during 2017 as part of a new campaign.

The Mountain Scene newspaper has printed 100 names of people convicted in the first six month of this year on its front page.

Mountain Scene editor David Williams says drink driving has been a problem in Queenstown for a while.

"It's seen as a party town, so there is a lot of drinking that goes on here," he says.

"That’s no excuse for then getting in your car and breaking the law and potentially putting other peoples lives at risk."

He says reaction to the campaign has been mixed but very strong.

"People have a lot of opinions about this," he says.

"Some people have congratulated us, other people think that we are arrogant and thoughtless because what about if these people have children.

"Our argument would be if these people have children, they should not be drink driving."

It comes after statistics released to the newspaper under the Official Information Act by the Ministry of Justice show 208 people were convicted in 2016.

Across the Otago region the numbers have been high with 646 people convicted across Central Otago and Southland.

More than 300 people were also convicted of drink driving in Dunedin and Invercargill each.

Anyone convicted in Queenstown of drink driving from next week can expect their name to be plastered on the front page of the newspaper.

Road policing manager Senior Sergeant Glenn Wilkinson told the Mountain Scene he is appalled with the numbers.

"Some of the alcohol readings are extremely high, and demonstrate a complete lack of regard for the safety of other road users."