Police to drivers: We’ll be out in force

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Nelson drivers be warned, if you drink and then drive there’s a good chance you’ll be pulled over.

Police will be running a summer driving campaign targeting drunk drivers and people speeding, and senior sergeant Grant Andrews says they will be out in force. “We’ll be everywhere,” he cautioned.

Changes to the drink driving limit came into effect yesterday, lowering the legal limit for how much alcohol you can drink before driving. The limit was 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, but is now 250mcg for drivers aged 20 and over.

For drivers under 20, the limit is zero.

Grant says the safest rule is to simply not drive if you’ve had a drink, but those who do need to be aware of what they’re drinking. “Especially in craft beers. Some of them can be treble what a standard beer is at four per cent. So where you think you may be having one standard drink, you may be having the equivalent of two or three.”

He says every single sworn officer in the Tasman policing district is trained to administer a breath test and they will be checking.

“We’re doing a lot of short, sharp check points now. Sometimes we’re only ten or 15 minutes in one place and then we’re gone again. We’ve had operations where we’ve started at two in the morning and run until midday.”

Grant says the number of people testing in the 250-400 range hasn’t been a lot, but it will catch some people out.

Nationally, about 100 people are killed and 2000 injured each year from crashes involving alcohol.