Police report that in the latest weekend drink-driving blitz, on the North Shore, more than 10,000 drivers were stopped. Of those, 61 were over the legal limit.
That equates to 0.61 percent. I find this interesting because I worked out the percentages of over-the-limit drivers following two other recent blitzes and they were remarkably similar: 0.58 percent and 0.60 percent.
Now it can be argued that this still is too high, but that’s a hopelessly utopian view. The significant thing is that these figures are not only strikingly consistent, but are entirely at odds with the myth promoted by the anti-liquor panic merchants that our roads are swarming with murderous drunks.
The figures suggest to me that the sustained advertising campaign against drink-driving has been effective, and that more than 99 percent of New Zealand motorists are careful not to consume too much before getting behind the wheel.
This is discouraging news for the hysterical anti-liquor lobby, so don’t expect them to draw attention to it.
The other interesting thing about the North Shore blitz is that some drivers were two or three times over the legal alcohol limit. Senior Sergeant Brett Batty was quoted as saying it was disappointing that so many drivers were “so far” above the limit.
This seems to confirm that the real risk on the roads is posed by a tiny minority of seriously heavy drinkers, not by drivers with alcohol levels of between .05 and .08 – yet it’s this latter group that the neo-wowsers are demanding that the government crack down on.