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Friday’s drink driving trend is back: Police

Wednesday 17 May 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Crime, National

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Friday’s drink driving trend is back: Police

Cook Islands Road Safety Council president Brent Fisher says the police department needs a proper traffic division.

His comments come after Police made several drunk driving arrests on Friday night.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said two arrests were made overnight Friday, while a third accused was subject to a blood specimen analysis following a crash.

The first arrest was a 29-year-old man that Police alleged was intoxicated.

Pitt said he was uncooperative when questioned and refused to be tested.

He was reported to Police earlier as a suspected drunk driver on the main road at Panama, shortly after 11.30 Friday night. He was stopped by Police at Avatiu.

The second arrest was a 58-year-old man involved in a motorbike crash at Tupapa, reported at 1.38, Saturday morning. Pitt said the man admitted to Police he had been drinking and lost control of his bike. He sustained minor injuries, and failed a breathalyser test with a reading of 620mcg/L.

Pitt said they were both bailed from prison on Saturday and expected to appear in court this week.

A third person, a 40-year-old man, was admitted to hospital with injuries following a motorbike crash at Betela, Police was notified shortly after 12.30am Saturday. He was transported by ambulance before Police arrived at the scene.

Two people were forbidden from driving in town.

Further crashes occurred on Saturday. One was reported at 11.05am on the main road near The Bond Store where a motorcyclist collided with a bus, causing minor damage.

At the Pokoinu intersection on Saturday night, a van collided with a bus. The female van driver admitted she had been drinking, and was taken to the hospital for a blood specimen analysis.

Fisher, who is also an anti-alcohol advocate, says Police need more resources to arrest drunk drivers before they crash.

He added Police needed funding and resources for effective patrolling.

Fisher also called on nightclubs, pubs, bars and restaurants to stop serving customers if they are heavily intoxicated/drunk.

He welcomed a youth programme organised by the Police a few weeks ago, adding more similar programmes and trainings are needed.

“We would like to see alcohol sales removed from the small dairy shops. We only need four outlets to sell alcohol,” Fisher said.

Fisher says he has given a number of suggestions in the past but if nothing is done, then the issue will keep repeating.

“We will keep going round and round.”

  • LL/Police media