Tracy Watkins reports:
EVIDENCE HAS emerged that 72% of all alcohol-related deaths on the roads are caused by drivers who are either blind-drunk or repeat offenders.
The research comes during debate over whether the drink-driving limit should be lowered, and ahead of the release of a report investigating drivers who cause the most mayhem.
And remember to be a repeat offender, you have probably driven drunk 50+ times, as at best you only get checked 1 in 50 times you are driving.
The Transport Ministry research shows that in 2009 88 deaths – 72% of all alcohol-related deaths – were caused by 73 drivers who were either at least 50% over the current limit, or who already had a previous conviction.
Of those 88 deaths, 34 people were killed in crashes where the driver at fault had a previous conviction and 57% – or 50 out of 88 deaths – were caused by drivers with twice the legal alcohol limit.
In 2008, 108 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes and 28 of those – 26% were caused by drivers with a previous drink-driving conviction, while 77 deaths – 62% – were caused by drivers who had consumed more than twice the legal alcohol limit.
This is where the focus should go, and it is. Compulsory alcohol interlocks on vehicles owned by a convicted drunk driver are well overdue.