Police catch 13 drink-drivers at checkpoints

  • Police roadside sobriety checks (File photograph)

    Police roadside sobriety checks (File photograph)

  • The roadside sobriety initiative continued Saturday night into Sunday morning (Photograph by Paul Johnston)

    The roadside sobriety initiative continued Saturday night into Sunday morning (Photograph by Paul Johnston)

Thirteen drink-drivers were caught on the second weekend of roadside breath tests, police announced yesterday.

As well as taking impaired drivers off the streets, officers caught a motorcyclist with drugs and a machete.

The rider failed to stop for a police checkpoint on Crow Lane outside Hamilton on Friday night.

Officers chased the man on to Pomander Road in Paget before he ditched his bike and ran into Aberfeldy Nurseries.

Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the roads policing unit, said: “Unfortunately, he put up a struggle and had to be Tasered.

“He had a machete on him and he had drugs — cannabis and cocaine rocks.”

Mr Cardwell said the incident showed how the roadside breath checks could crack down on other criminals as well.

He said: “We’ve had other motorcycles turn around on us and we’ve gone after them and they’ve been unlicensed or uninsured.”

Another man arrested by police on Friday night had ten outstanding warrants.

Officers chased another motorcyclist who drove the wrong way up one-way Corkscrew Hill to try to escape after he failed to stop at a checkpoint.

The man, a disqualified driver, was later caught.

Mr Cardwell said that Friday nights had been “substantially busier” than Saturday nights over the two weekends checkpoints had been set up.

This weekend’s checkpoints were in Devonshire and Paget and more checkpoints were expected to be set up last night.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, went out with police on the Saturday night operation.

He said: “It’s very important for legislators to see the actual fruit of the hard work.”

Mr Caines believes the tests are a step in the right direction.

He added: “The entire exercise, I believe, will save lives.”

The checkpoints are not about racking up arrests.

Mr Caines added: “More importantly, we are trying to change behaviour.”

He explained that a slow night for officers on checkpoint duty is a good night and that residents who see the roadside breath checks as a way to make arrests have the wrong mindset. Mr Caines said: “The right way to process this is that, ‘I will not drive with any alcohol in my system’.”

He explained: “There are people that are going to say it’s inconvenient, it is heavy-handed policing, and it’s uncomfortable for all of us.

“The object for us in Bermuda is to realise that we have to do a few things that are uncomfortable.”

Mr Caines said: “We need to move away from Bermudians love to drink, to Bermudians want to live — and live healthily and happily.”

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Published Oct 8, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 8, 2018 at 8:03 am)

Police catch 13 drink-drivers at checkpoints

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