Record breaking levels of breath testing across Tāmaki Makaurau to continue Record breaking levels of breath testing across Tāmaki Makaurau to continue

Date: 20 June 2024

With more than 900,000 breath tests conducted in the past year, Auckland Transport along with NZ Police have no plans to put the brakes on.

As part of Auckland Transport’s (AT) responsibility around road safety, we have been working with Police to increase breath testing across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Alcohol related crashes contribute to around 15 per cent of deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads each year.

In the past 12 months there have been more breath tests conducted than any other time in the past decade, with more than 900,000 passive and screening breath tests undertaken between May 2023 – April 2024. The last time we saw close to this level of breath testing in the region was in 2013 at around 700,000 tests.

This number has been steadily increasing over the past two years and road users will continue to see police out across the region during winter months.

“We want Auckland road users to know there will continue to be elevated levels of breath testing throughout the rest of the year so people will make informed choices about their transport options, particularly where alcohol will be involved, says Teresa Burnett, General Manager Transport Safety, AT.

“We put safety at the heart of everything we do by investing in improving the quality of our roads and working with partners and communities to improve the safety of vehicles, influence central government policy and improve driver behaviour.”

Research shows a staggering 50 per cent of Aucklanders believe they won’t get caught when driving under the influence of alcohol and 2023 data from the Ministry of Justice reported 77 per cent of drivers charged identified as male.

Relieving Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager, Acting Inspector Jason McIntosh, says Police and Auckland Transport will continue to work together to reduce the risk for all road users.
“Intelligent, collaborative deployment by road policing managers across Tāmaki Makaurau and a concentrated effort by a group of dedicated officers has significantly contributed to the increase in breath testing.

“Our aim is to raise awareness of the drive drink free message and encourage positive behaviours, rather than focus only on those people found to be breaking the law,” he says.

“As a community we have a responsibility to ensure we drive safely at all times and do not take any unnecessary risks - getting behind the wheel after drinking is one of those risks not worth taking.”

Acting Inspector McIntosh says officers will be out in force anytime, anywhere to deter unsafe driving behaviour. “By significantly increasing alcohol breath testing across Tāmaki Makaurau the message we are sending is clear and we hope people pay attention.”

With increased public transport services operating across Auckland, AT is encouraging you to plan before heading out; jump on public transport, sort your sober driver or a taxi service and have a plan B.
“Make sure you know all of the options available to get you home safely, just in case things don’t go to plan,” says Teresa.

The AT Mobile app can help you plan your safe journey home from just about anywhere in Auckland.