Queenstown drink-drive shame

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FIVE motorists were caught allegedly drink-driving in Queenstown in the space of three-and-a-half hours on Saturday. 

Police say they’re appalled by the high number of motorists allegedly risking lives during the long Labour Day weekend.

Seven people were processed for drink-driving from Friday to Tuesday morning – including five between 12.16am and 3.49am on Saturday.

Officers set up a check-point on Lake Esplanade.

They also stopped motorists on Stanley Street, Gorge Road and Man St who allegedly provided positive breath tests. 

“Everybody in the country was aware there would be a high police presence on the roads this weekend,” senior constable Chris Blackford says.

“Police were upfront saying there’d be enforcement of the speed limit and drink-driving laws. 

“But we still have people who have allegedly taken it upon themselves to take the risk and drive after drinking, putting other people’s safety at risk.

“Their behaviour is appalling,” Blackford says.

Last week, Blackford warned members of the public to take care on the district’s roads at all times after a man was allegedly caught almost double the limit before 9am. 

The 22-year-old American, stopped in the town’s CBD last Monday, allegedly gave a breath alcohol reading of 755 micrograms per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Several stopped this weekend gave similarly high readings.

On Saturday, at the check-point, a 24-year-old German man allegedly blew 609mcg, a 20-year-old Queenstown man allegedly blew 715mcg and a 22-year-old New Zealand woman allegedly provided a positive breath test and opted for a blood test.

Police then stopped a 46-year-old NZ man on Gorge Rd at 2.44am who allegedly blew 764mcg, and a 31-year-old Queenstown man on Stanley St at 3.49am who allegedly gave a reading of 771mcg. 

On Sunday, at 2.40am, an 18-year-old Dunedin woman was allegedly over the youth limit, with a reading of 131mcg.

And on Tuesday, an English 37-year-old woman was stopped on Man St and allegedly blew 551mcg.