A Hamilton man, who tried to evade Tauranga police by travelling at speeds over 170km/h on State Highway 29 in the Kaimai Range on Friday, was found to be three times over the legal adult alcohol limit.
The 27-year-old man was arrested by police around 1.40pm when he was checked by a police radar doing 120km/h.
Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager, Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says when police turned to apprehend the driver he sped up and was checked at a speed over 170km/h.
“Breath testing procedures resulted in a breath alcohol reading of over 1200 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, which is over three times the legal adult limit.”
The adult limit is 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.
Ian says the vehicle was observed overtaking on double yellow lines causing oncoming vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision and when stopped by police it was established the driver had been drinking.
He says the driver was travelling from Hamilton to Tauranga and had three passengers and a hitch hiker in the vehicle.
“The hitch hiker told police he was concerned for his safety.
The man is facing a charge of dangerous driving and driving with excess breath alcohol.
“The driver was suspended from driving for 28 days and his vehicle was impounded.”
The man will appear in Tauranga District Court on May 30.
Ian says the apprehension of this driver by police most likely prevent injury or death to other innocent road users.
He says he’s appalled by the high alcohol level despite widespread media coverage and consistent targeting of drunk and drugged drivers the message was still not sinking in with some motorists.
“It simply defies logic that someone would get in behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are clearly intoxicated but also that passengers would not intervene under these conditions.”
Ian says the Police Winter Action Plan in now in full swing with at least two police patrols deployed to State Highway 29 on the Kaimai Ranges most days.
The focus on drunk and drugged drivers in the Western Bay of Plenty will continue and Ian pleads with drivers to use their common sense and not get behind the wheel after they’ve had a few.
“All drivers can expect to be breath tested anytime, anywhere.
“Help make our roads safer - don’t drink and drive.”