Police have hit back at criticisms of the mandatory 12-month disqualification of drink drivers, saying many are flagrantly breaching their bans.
There are no plans to soften the law, the Cook Islands Police Service says.
The comments come in response to complaints that the mandatory ban is “unfair, harsh and cruel” – a claim by defence lawyers in yesterday’s Cook Islands News.
Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said although the police would be supportive of looking into it the ban, especially as it affected drink drivers, changing the law was not an option at the moment.
The current disqualification could actually be made more stringent, he suggested, as disqualified drivers are presently eligible to apply for a partial licence after the first six months of their ban.
“They do this primarily for broad welfare reasons to do with work and support for their families,” he said.
If the court considered there was good reason, it will alleviate the hardship by granting limited use of a vehicle.
But at the moment police are concerned with the rising number of around 180 disqualified drivers.
Pitt said these were drivers that police were monitoring and many were breaching their disqualifications imposed by the High Court.