Drink-drive convictions in Queenstown are bucking the national downward trend now averaging four a week.
Ministry of Justice statistics show 208 people were convicted in the Queenstown District Court last year.
Another 100 have been convicted in the first six months of 2017.
They are named on today’s front page of Queenstown newspaper Mountain Scene as it takes a stand against a growing problem in the community.
It marks the start of the Allied Press-owned publication’s campaign to name and shame drink-drivers in the resort.
From this week until the end of the year anyone convicted in Queenstown on drink-driving charges can expect to have their names printed on the front page of the newspaper.
The campaign aims deter those contemplating getting behind the wheel drunk.
In the past five years, drink-drive convictions in the resort have risen from 169 to 208.
But nationally they have fallen by a third over the same period, from 24,621 to 16,014.
In other major centres, such as Dunedin and Invercargill, along with the region as a whole, convictions are falling.
In fact, they appear to be falling almost everywhere except Queenstown.
“I am appalled at the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol in Queenstown,” Otago and Lakes Central road policing manager senior sergeant Glenn Wilkinson said.
“Some of the alcohol readings are extremely high, and demonstrate a complete lack of regard for the safety of other road users.”
Auckland anti-drink-drive campaigner Leah Abrams, of No-one Ever Stands Alone, says there is always a cost to drink-driving.
“Whether it’s people being killed or injured, or a societal cost from policing and the courts.”
According to statistics released to the newspaper under the Official Information Act, 913 people were convicted in Queenstown for driving under the influence offences from 2012 to 2016. Statistics were not available for 2017. Mountain Scene