Posted September 23, 2013 EST
Drunk Drives Through New Zeland Fire Scene
A drunk, unlicensed woman drove through an emergency services cordon in the early hours of Saturday morning as fire fighters battled a suspicious blaze that gutted the Te Aroha Athletics Club. Rewi St was blocked by fire appliances, cones and fire hoses when police spotted the vehicle motoring west through the scene, with its headlights off, about 4.20am.
"Once clear of the scene the driver continued on to a nearby supermarket car park where the 23-year-old unlicensed female driver tried to reverse away, still with no headlights on," Sergeant Vic Sneddon said.
The woman allegedly had a breath-alcohol reading of 974 micrograms - the legal limit is 400.
"She told our staff she was trying to get to work on time when she was stopped," he said.
The woman is to appear in the Morrinsville District Court.
It was "very concerning" to find the woman behind the wheel in such a state that she didn't realise she was driving through an emergency scene, especially considering 15 people were killed last year in crashes where alcohol was a factor, Sneddon said.
"Even more so when you consider the lives of the emergency service workers she put at risk. If she had crashed further down the road it would have been these same workers who would strive to ensure she survived."
Written by MATT BOWEN