Cops ping 121 impaired drivers in three weeks

Police are warning people not to drink and drive this holiday season. Photo supplied

Police say they’re disappointed by the number of drivers found to be impaired while behind the wheel as part of a Christmas road safety operation.

Over the past three weeks, Counties Manukau Police officers stopped nearly 21,000 vehicles at alcohol checkpoints during an impairment operation leading into the holiday period.

This month alone, 121 drivers in south-east Auckland were summonsed to appear in court on drink driving or impairment-related charges.

Another 12 motorists are awaiting the results of blood analysis and the number of prosecutions is likely to increase.

Senior sergeant Jono Chappell says each of these motorists placed themselves and other road users at risk of death or serious injury by driving while impaired.

“We’re disappointed by the actions of a number of motorists who have made very poor decisions by choosing to drive while impaired.

“2020 has been a tough year for everyone and the last thing police want to do over the holiday period is to knock on your door advising you a loved one has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a crash.”

Chappell says last year alcohol or drugs were a factor in 131 fatal crashes and 432 serious injury crashes across the country.

“Motorists need to take responsibility for their own actions.

“We know over the festive period there is an increase in alcohol consumption.

“If you are drinking, make sure you plan ahead and have an alternative way to get home safely, whether a designated driver, taxi, or other ride-share service.

“It’s also important to look out for your mates.

“If you know they’ve been drinking, do not allow them to get behind the wheel.

“You can call the police if needed.”

Police will continue to be highly visible over the holiday period and breath-test all motorists spoken to, Chappell says.

“Our priority is keeping our roads safe for all motorists, however we need our community to do their part and no drink when driving.”

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