Drink-drive blitz nabs 13 as duck-shooting season begins

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Police in South Otago have squared up to a spike in activity associated with the hunting seasons.

Officers in Balclutha were pleased to report there had been no firearms safety or compliance incidents since the duck›shooting season began, but had 17 staff monitoring road safety over opening weekend, Sergeant Chris Parsons said.

‘‘Hundreds of vehicles were stopped and the drivers breath› tested for alcohol.’’

A high number of speeding infringements were issued and 10 drivers were charged with drink›driving.

A further three drink›drivers were arrested last weekend, in Milton, Sterling and Kaitangata, two testing at ‘‘very high levels’’.

‘‘We know this ties into alcohol› related firearms breaches as well.

‘‘Though nobody was caught, we have no doubt there . . .will have been breaches that were not detected,’’ Sgt Parsons said, warning that drinking and shooting was illegal and dangerous.

The annual deer roar season also came with a rise in dangerous hunting activity.

‘‘To be fair, there’s always poaching going on, but at the time of the year when the deer come down to feed on the flats, some people try to push their luck and take advantage of that on private property.

‘‘Following a recent meeting, poaching’s now at the front of our minds and we’ll be targeting it over the coming months.

‘‘It’s more of a problem in forestry blocks than private land and requires a communal effort because we can’t be everywhere at once.

‘‘We need people to let us know about illegal and suspicious activity.’’

Investigation of burglaries in recent weeks around Tautuku, where cribs were broken into and fishing gear stolen, were continuing.

Nobody was injured in a collision near the Finegand intersection last Friday, but a young female driver was injured after crashing against a gravel wall in Clutha River Rd.

Following a recent meeting, poaching’s now at the front of our minds and we’ll be targeting it over the coming months.