Police get ready to crack down on drink driving

STAYING SAFE: Police and the district council are gearing up to launch into its anti-drink driving Christmas campaign.

Police are preparing to launch their Christmas campaign to stop drink driving in Selwyn.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes in the district by encouraging people to plan a safe ride home before going out to drink.

It comes after a man crashed a vehicle near Southbridge and recorded more than three times the legal limit on Friday.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Collins Rd at about 9pm, but the driver escaped major injuries.

Police said the tradesman had been drinking “all afternoon” at a hotel before heading towards his home in Southbridge when he crashed.

“He was lucky he didn’t kill himself,” Senior Constable Andy Williamson said.

Police allege the man recorded more than 900 micrograms of alcohol per litre. The legal limit is 250mcg/L.

Senior Sergeant Pete Stills said police have been catching a number of intoxicated drivers in Rolleston and the wider Selwyn area in the past few weeks.

Drivers had been caught driving at about 800 and 1000mcg/L of breath over the legal limit.

Senior Sergeant Stills said the high alcohol readings blown by drivers was really disappointing.

“We would rather not catch anybody, we would rather get the message out don’t drink and drive,” he said.

The district council’s road safety co-ordinator Ngaire Tinning said between December last year and January nine alcohol-related crashes were recorded in the district.

Nine crashes were also recorded in the district between August and October this year.

The Christmas campaign will be similar to previous years with hotels and clubs throughout Selwyn supporting it.

It encourages people to use courtesy vans provided by hospitality outlets and have a sober driver organised.

Senior Sergeant Stills said it is very important because people’s lives are at stake.

Meanwhile, police are cracking down on drivers not stopping at stop signs again.

“We have been focusing on Shands and Selwyn Rd again because it has got bad there. There is a high volume of traffic,” Senior Sergeant Stills said.

He said while it is a problem at all the intersections in Selwyn, police are focusing on high risk ones identified through crash data.