Drinking? Don't drive. There’s no excuse

24 May 2024, 5:24 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council has joined forces with NZTA Waka Kotahi, Police and other councils in the Wellington region to drive down the number of people getting behind the wheel under the influence.

People are continuing to drive after drinking, with alcohol a major contributing factor in death and serious injury crashes across the Wellington region.

In the decade to 2023 there were 1871 vehicle crashes that resulted in death or serious injury in the Wellington region. Alcohol contributed to around a third of those.

In that time in the Kāpiti-Mana area there were 23 deaths and 367 serious injuries from crashes, with alcohol a factor in 30 percent of those.

That’s too many, so this June we’ll be working together to target people who continue to think it’s OK to drink and then drive with a simple message – it’s not.

Across Wellington people will be reminded of the consequences through education and advertising, backed up on the ground by Police vehicle checks, enforcement, and driver education.

Kāpiti District Councillor Nigel Wilson, who also chairs the District Licensing Committee, says as a community we need to shift the attitudes and behaviours of ‘drink drivers’ so they see themselves the same as ‘drunk drivers’.

“Despite an abundance of available information on the dangers of drink driving and how to arrange a safer ride home, people are still putting themselves and others at risk by getting into a few drinks and then getting behind the wheel,” Cr Wilson says.

“There is really no excuse for it, especially when you consider around 40 per cent of people injured in crashes involving alcohol were not the drink driver.

“Do you really want someone else’s death or injury on your conscience because you thought driving home after drinking was a good idea?

“You don’t even need to be over the legal limit for alcohol to be a factor, so if you’re planning a few drinks also plan to get around without your car.

“Community safety is a priority for Council. We are pleased to be playing our part to help spread this message and look forward to seeing a greater Police presence out and about in our community in June.”

Visit www.nzta.govt.nz/drinking-don’t-drive to find out more about keeping yourself and others safe.