Middle aged males top drink drive list

A study into repeat drink driving offending in New Zealand has revealed men in their early 40s are the main culprits.

Figures released show that by December 2011, 5955 drivers had been charged with drink driving for at least their third time - 86 per cent of those charged were men.

Males are the worst offenders when it comes to repeat drink driving.

According to the study, men feature more in statistics because of their attitude towards authority and their belief they are invincible.

This month Tauranga man Hardeep Pannu will be sentenced on a raft of drink driving offences in one case he is alleged to be so far over the limit he should have been clinically dead.

The 31-year-old Bellevue man is charged with two counts of driving with excess breath alcohol, dangerous driving, refusing to accompany an enforcement officer, and refusing a police officer’s request for a blood specimen to be taken.

The charges stem from three separate incidents.

Pannu first came to police attention on July 19, when he was pulled over on Cameron Road and breath tested.

He blew more than three times the legal limit.

Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says the man blew 1688 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath – the adult limit is 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

A week later, police say he was pulled over again and arrested for having an excess breath alcohol limit of 1429 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Police say the incidents are “deeply concerning” and the man should have been “clinically dead” with having such a high breath alcohol limit.

On Sunday, August 5, Pannu came to police attention again when he was pulled over on State Highway 2, near Katikati and was found to be driving on a suspended licence.

He appeared in court this week and was remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

Given his guilty pleas, Pannu has been further remanded in custody for sentencing on September 12.

Automobile Association figures show police laid 32,603 drink-driving charges in 2010-2011 with 6702 against drivers for at least the third time.

According to police in 2011 a total of 172 young drivers aged between 15 and 19-years-old were charged with drink driving offences.

Since 2008, the number of repeat drink drivers charged has dropped by around 14 per cent.


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