Michael Massie, 20, has been sentenced at Christchurch District Court for taking police on a 700km chase across the South Island.

Mums drive drunk with kids

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Drunk mums driving with children, or to pick up children, have shocked Nelson police over the past week.

Ten drivers were caught over the drink driving limit over the weekend during a police operation, but worryingly, three of the highest levels of intoxication came from mums, says Inspector Jenni Richardson.

“Our highest reading came from a pregnant woman with passengers in her car and the third highest reading was a woman with a young baby in the back seat.  You have to wonder how long it is until an innocent life is lost.”

A third woman recorded a breath alcohol reading of 440mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, while on her way to pick up a child.

The limit is 250 and the pregnant woman registered 880 when tested by police.

Jenni says police were expecting to see an increase in the number of drivers testing in the 250-400 range after a recent law change dropped the legal limit from 400 to 250.

“But what we’re seeing is breath alcohol readings in the 800s and 900s, which is outrageous,” she says.

Just three weeks ago police publicly said in Nelson Weekly that they would come down hard on drunk drivers this holiday period, but the message seems to have gone unnoticed, says Jenni. “It’s shocking, given the amount of publicity we have given to drink driving in recent weeks, combined with the fact we’ve made no secret that we will be out checking drivers.”

She says there would be an increased police presence on the roads in the lead up to Christmas and through the holiday period, with more checkpoints planned this week.