Drink-driving checkpoints: Police using more mobile fleet to catch those under the influence

Police are using a more mobile fleet of  vehicles to catch drink drivers.
Police are using a more mobile fleet of vehicles to catch drink drivers. Photo credit: File Image

The head of the Road Policing Unit said it is worrying how many people are being caught drink-driving.

A team of detectives were out in Wellington on Saturday night, and of the 160 people who were breath-tested, seven people were found to be over the legal limit, and taken off the road.

It comes after data released by the police showed how many people are being apprehended for driving while impaired.

The previous weekend in Hamilton, 71 people were over the limit, out of about 10,300 tested - one in every 145 drivers tested.

One man was caught drunk driving twice in one night.

In two weekends in Bay of Plenty last month, 180 people were caught driving while impaired. On the first weekend, officers found one in every 83 vehicles stopped was driven by a drunk driver, and the next weekend, the drivers of one in 75 vehicles stopped were over the limit.

"That's really worrying," said the director of the Road Policing Centre, Superintendent Steve Grealy. "We don't want to see it, we don't want to be the fun police, but we're actually there to keep people alive, safe and well, out of the graves, and out of spinal units.

"That's unfortunately the result of when people drink and drive."

It comes at a time when the police have been operating numerous checkpoints across the country for Queen's Birthday weekend.

Superintendent Grealy said they are now able to move checkpoint locations much faster, and be in several places at once.

"One of the great things we've done recently is we've changed our vehicle fleet.

"We've got a lot more smaller ones, which are a lot more dynamic. We can have two checkpoints operating simultaneously in different locations, and we can move them around very, very quickly.

"We're very agile in that way now - the pure purpose of that is to keep people guessing."

He added the best thing people can do is to not drink and drive.