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Hit and run: man arrested following dangerous police pursuit

Monday 9 January 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Crime, National

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Hit and run: man arrested following dangerous police pursuit
A 31-year-old man was taken into custody on charges of careless driving, unlawful taking (stolen car), and driving over the legal limit of alcohol. POLICE MEDIA/23010819

A drunk driver has been arrested after allegedly pinching a car, crashing into two motorcyclists, and inciting a police pursuit while more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

A 31-year-old man was taken into custody on charges of careless driving, unlawful taking, and driving over the legal limit of alcohol after being found asleep in the stolen vehicle on an Avana side road on Friday evening.

He was breathalysed at the Police station and blew 840 micrograms of alcohol per litres of breath. The legal limit is 250mcg.

Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said the incident was a “clear case of idiocy that puts every road user at risk”.

“Innocent people should not be fearful about driving at night or early morning, but stupidity by individuals will be the cause of tragedy one day.”

Police were alerted to a car being stolen from the Fishing Club in Tupapa at about 9.30pm, before a report came in about a crash involving a motorcycle near the Vaka Shed in Avarua just before 10pm.

Pitt said police were soon in pursuit of the stolen car as it headed towards Matavera, where the driver allegedly collided with another motorcycle.

Police were forced to call off the pursuit to attend to crash victims, and because it was “too dangerous” to continue chasing the driver, Pitt said.

The crash victims were picked up by the ambulance and Police had no further details on their injuries, Pitt said.

“Police eventually recovered the car at Avana. The driver was said to be asleep in the vehicle,” he said.

“The festive season may be behind us, but the season for stupidity on the road is far from over.”

Pitt said Police are investigating whether alcohol was involved in another crash over the weekend, where an 18-year-old man was found “unresponsive but breathing” after coming off his motorcycle in Arorangi, about 3am.

The driver was picked up from the scene by an ambulance and police have sought a blood specimen for analysis, Pitt said.