Police warn drink drivers as Christmas-New Year road toll rises to eight

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Police warn they will be out in force to catch drink drivers over the summer holidays as this year’s Christmas-New Year road toll climbs to eight.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

One persion died today at the scene of a crash which involved three vehicles on State Highway 1, Pukenui.

Seven other people have died on the road since Christmas Eve.

Last year over the Christmas and New Year period, there were 971 road crashes, in which 91 people were badly injured and 11 people were killed.

Alcohol or drugs and speed were a factor in more than half of the crashes.

Police assistant commissioner Bruce O’Brien said drinkers should plan how they were going to get home before they went out, so that they did not make bad decisions later.

“If you are drinking, don’t drive. It’s that simple,” he said.

“Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in about a third of all fatal crashes, so the risk is too high, and the consequences are devastating for everyone, including your whānau and friends.”

Police are also urging party-goers to stick together – people should not let their friends wander off alone, especially if they have been drinking.

In the last five years, alcohol was a contributing factor in more than 6500 crashes that left someone injured.

They resulted in more than 1500 people seriously injured and 389 people killed.

Meanwhile, three of five children who were badly injured after stolen car was crashed in Waitako on Monday night are still in a critical condition.

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