This decrease is being described as a “huge turnaround” by Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion.
Police conducted random roadside breath tests on New Year’s Eve. Photos: Tracy Hardy.
“That’s a really big shift and we really have to commend the young people for actually leading the way in terms of drink drive reduction.”
Provisional statistics for the total number of drivers arrested for driving drunk in 2013 show police processed 985 drivers, down from the 1256 the previous year.
“This is pretty much half of the 2008 and 2009 years, which is great news,” says Ian.
He says these are just provisional figures and expects them to increase by about 10 once the figures are finalised.
“I do know there were 13 that were processed on New Year’s Eve and that’s 13 too many.
These are people who put our road users at significant risk, including themselves and their passengers.
“So far this year we have processed 23 drink drivers. Between December 23 and January 5, we processed a total of 52 drink drivers and 13 of those were on New Year’s Eve.”
Ian says while young people have been making strides in not drinking and driving, the older generation seem to be becoming more complacent.
“Unfortunately there are other age groups increasing and that’s the over 50s, 40s-44s, the 35s-39s, 30s-34s, they are all pretty much increasing.”
He asked drivers to think twice about getting behind the wheel of a car drunk and putting other road users at risk.