Waiheke Marketplace : May 22nd 2013
www.waihekemarketplace.co.nz 5 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, MAY 22, 2013 NEWS SE O E S S O H L E E 10 F EE O LY $10 E Y GL E F EE FOO & ALLE GY SHOW making life easier M F EE SAMPLES G EA SHOW SPE ALS F EE EXPE SEM A S A KLA 25-26 May 2013 U TED BY A s, G la 10a -5 . l t all y.c . z H S WEEKE ! Drink-driving can be costly: Cops Sage advice: Waiheke police Sergeant Peter Knight is warning people who drive over the alcohol limit more than a loss of their licence will be at stake. Photo: DIANA WORTHY By DIANA WORTHY Police are warning motorists that being found over the alcohol limit can cost big bucks on top of the loss of their licence. Sergeant Peter Knight says most motorists do not realise how quickly costs can mount up -- even before they get to court. Someone who opts for a blood test and has their car impounded for 28 days could be facing a bill of more than $700, with a further $130 in court costs and fines. Mr Knight believes there is little difference between blood and breath test results but, he says, people have the right to choose. The breath test costs nothing but the bill for a blood test is almost $200. The figure includes $93.62 doctors fees and $97.75 lab costs for blood analysis. Some people can face even more costs and conse- quences. Vehicles can be seized and impounded by police in cer- tain cases. It applies, for example, when a driver fails or refuses either a breath or blood test and has had two or more drink drive convictions within the previous four years. Mr Knight says owners of impounded vehicles weigh- ing less than 3500kg -- the most common category -- would be looking at a flat fee of $53.67 when it is seized and impounded during week- day business hours, rising to $71.56 at any other time. There is also a charge of at least $3.07 per km for any vehicle towed further than 10km. Once the vehicle gets to the pound, the owner faces costs of $12.27 per day until its release 28 days later. Fines for first and second drink-drive offences can be as much as $4500. After that, the maximum fine rises to $6000. But courts are trending towards longer disqualifi- cation periods rather than high fines, Mr Knight says. The most effective deter- rent is impounding and immediate suspension of licences. Vehicle owners are also being warned if a friend bor- rows their car and gets stop- ped for drink-driving the situation can get messy. He says owners should be aware of what could happen to their vehicles if they are driven by other people -- par- ticularly if they have been drinking. The vehicle owner could end up without a car for 28 days and will not get it back unless the fees are paid. They can appeal if the car was taken without their con- sent. But if this is the case, the drink-driver would also get charged with unlawfully using that motor vehicle, Mr Knight says. Motorists aged 20 and below are not allowed to drink and drive. Above that age, the legal alcohol limit is 400 micrograms per litre of breath or 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. Mr Knight says he is pleased residents seem to have got the message, with convictions steadily decreas- ing over the past five years from 168 to just 24 nearly half way through this year. The Government is aiming to introduce a new drink- drive limit for people aged from 20 to 24, commercial drivers, and those deemed high risk within the next two years. All motorists found to be over the limit lose their licences for at least 28 days. Courts are able to disqualify people from driv- ing for a period of three months to 13 months. Anyone disqualified for more than a year has to re- sit the driving test. And that means having to go to Auckland so it s worse for an islander, Mr Knight says. Speedsters targeted Island slogan: Slow Down You're Here reminds drivers to keep within the speed limit. Checking in: The digital device shows the driver is in within the speed limit on Onetangi Straight. By GEORGE GARDNER A campaign launched this month to slow drivers down is paying off. The digital message Slow Down, You re Here has been flashing from a trailer park- ed at different locations around the island. The portable radar takes up to five speed readings of a vehicle in its path and dis- plays the readings for the oncoming driver to see. The idea is to encourage the driver to slow down. A polite thank you mess- age flashes as the driver pas- ses by. Auckland Transport is funding the initiative which is part of a wider road safety campaign being rolled out on the island. The project includes a slow roads awareness campaign which will highlight some of Wai- heke s winding lanes. Sergeant Peter Knight says the first week s trial, on the newly resurfaced Onetangi Straight, worked really well . We thought there would be a few speedsters there and a lot were coming in at 60km and dropping to 50km. There have been very few over the 60km limit on Onetangi Straight. Then it went to Donald Bruce Rd and only a couple of cars were over the 50km limit. It s a really good tool, slowing people down. During the 40km school time limit on the road, the device continued its display so drivers could monitor their speed. During speed studies last year, 85 per cent of drivers were exceeding the designated speed limit in some areas, Mr Knight says. One of these areas was Ocean View Rd, on the way to the ferry. Drivers on the causeway will also be seeing the digital speed radar and the Wai- heke Local Board has made a request that the campaign be extended for a further two weeks to include Seaview Rd near Waiheke Primary School. The board will also research purchasing a smal- ler portable model that can remain on the island.
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