Drink-drive concerns raised after crashes post-Cup Day

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Christchurch Police have slammed the behaviour of drunk drivers following Cup Day yesterday – after two serious crashes overnight left several people in hospital.Drink-drive concerns raised after serious crashes post-Cup Day

Christchurch Police have slammed the behaviour of drunk drivers following Cup Day yesterday – after two serious crashes overnight left several people in hospital.

Around 6.30pm a van carrying a driver and nine passengers was travelling south-west on Lincoln Road after leaving Addington Raceway.

Senior Sergeant Rob Patterson says the van was travelling at excessive speed when the driver made a sharp left-hand turn into a side street and rolled.

“The van was seriously overloaded. There were no proper seats – only benches and unsecured seats, and none of the passengers were wearing seat belts.

“Several of the passengers have suffered significant injuries, including a woman who had some fingers severed, and others with spinal injuries.

“The driver fled the scene, but was located by Police shortly afterwards.”

Three passengers were taken to hospital by ambulance following the crash.

Sergeant Patterson says the driver blew a breath alcohol reading of 524 micrograms of alcohol (mcgs) per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

A 21-year old Christchurch man will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday 20 November on charges including excess breath alcohol and failing to stop.

Shortly after this crash, at around 7pm, a pedestrian was struck by a car travelling away from Addington on Whiteleigh Avenue at excessive speed. Eyewitnesses reported the pedestrian was thrown into the air and landed heavily on the footpath.

“The driver did not stop, but passers-by were able to give police information which helped us locate and apprehend the driver nearby.

“This driver was also over the limit, blowing a reading of 528.”

The driver, a 25-year old Christchurch man, will appear in court on Thursday 29 November on excess breath alcohol, dangerous driving and failing to stop charges, as well as an assault charge after the man allegedly assaulted a police officer in the Christchurch Central watchhouse.

The injured pedestrian is reported to be in a critical condition in intensive care at Christchurch Hospital.

“It’s hugely disturbing to police that incidents like these continue to occur, despite the constant messages about drink-driving,” says Senior Sergeant Patterson.

“This is simply stupidity and recklessness on the part of some drivers. I can’t understand why drivers think it’s acceptable to drink to excess at an event and then put themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk.

“Some of the onus must also be on passengers – why people would willingly put their lives in the hands of a drunk driver is unfathomable.”

Senior Sergeant Patterson says police will be stepping up their efforts to take drunk drivers off the road through the rest of Show Week.

Police will have a strong presence at all major events, and will have checkpoints and booze bus operations in place.

Police are also working closely with the event organisers to ensure good host responsibility and prevent excessive alcohol consumption.

ENDS

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