Unlicensed Otago driver caught speeding way over limit at twice the permitted alcohol level

A Central Otago driver who was caught speeding well over the speed limit last week was found to have had more than double the permitted alcohol in his system, and didn't even have a licence.

The errant motorist, who police say was clocked at a speed well in excess of the limit, was pulled over by officers in Cromwell on Saturday.

"The driver tested positive for excess alcohol in an evidential breath test, blowing more than double the legal limit, and was also unlicensed," a police spokesperson said.

They are scheduled to appear in Alexandra District Court on Thursday.

Senior Sergeant Sarah Thorn, Otago Lakes Central Road Policing Manager, is thankful the driver was caught before doing serious damage to themselves or other people.

"Having a motorist travelling at that speed, while twice over the legal limit, is tantamount to a ticking timebomb to a catastrophic tragedy on our roads," she said.

"I'm just glad that our increased presence and visibility on the roads meant this driver was removed from the roads swiftly. I'm hopeful our continued vigilance and proactive approach to safer roads will act as a deterrent and reduce these kinds of risks throughout the course of summer."

Police say it's been an "extremely busy" holiday period in the Southern District, and it's "disappointing" to see some drivers put other road-users at risk through unsafe driving behaviours.

"An increase in socialising at this time of the year is natural, but drinking and driving simply cannot be mixed - if you're going to drink, plan your ride home before heading out so that you are not driving."

Police say they will continue to target times and locations known to be high-risk, and be enforcing speeds, carrying out breath alcohol testing, and keeping an eye out for people using cellphones while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.