Drink drivers put us all at risk

Published: 16 May 2024

We’re continuing to get behind the wheel after drinking, with alcohol being a major factor contributing to deaths and serious injuries crashes in the Ashburton district.

Between 2014 and 2023 in the Mid-South Canterbury Area, alcohol contributed to at least 14% of road deaths and serious injuries, which is higher than in Canterbury Rural and Christchurch Metro.

Alcohol was a contributing factor to 32.6% of all death and serious injury crashes (DSIs) in the Mid-South Canterbury area. These DSIs occurred mostly on medium and minor rural roads.

A high number of these DSIs were young people (aged 20 to 24 years) and were more often males than females. A high number of DSIs happened between 9pm Saturday to 3am Sunday, with another peak on Saturday between 6pm and 9pm.

In response, Council is joining Police and NZTA this June to collectively target people in Mid Canterbury who continue to think it’s okay to drink and then drive. Other councils in Canterbury are running similar joint campaigns.

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

Mayor Neil Brown said the community must not tolerate drink driving.

“Together, we need to shift the attitudes and behaviours of our drink drivers so they see themselves the same as drunk drivers.

“For a long time there has been plenty of information available on how to arrange a safer ride home. There’s just no excuse now.

This June, Council is joining forces with road safety partners to target people who continue to drink and drive and put us all at risk.”

Drink driving has a significant impact not only on the driver themselves, but on passengers and people using the road around them. Around 40% of people injured in crashes involving alcohol were not the drink driver behind the wheel.

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