Boozed & Busted


Boozed and Busted is 2 x 1/2 hour specials made for TV2.. It follows the regular and undercover work of the Traffic Alcohol Group (T.A.G), a specialised unit of the police force dedicated to bringing the road toll down by strict enforcement of our drink-driving laws.

Most urban drivers are familiar by now with TAG’s random breath-testing checkpoints, with the ‘booze buses’ that allow quick and streamlined processing of over-the-limit drivers. As the programme shows, the checkpoints have been a successful tactic in deterring more drinkers from driving in the country’s main centres.  But it’s a different story in rural New Zealand, where the high statistics for alcohol-related deaths on the road show that the message still isn’t getting through. To combat this, TAG has developed new strategies – and our cameras follow the Northern Traffic Alcohol Group on some of their covert and overt rural operations.

The results are dramatic. Obviously set in their drink-driving ways, many of these drivers are incensed that undercover officers should pick on them this way; some become abusive, and some even violent. One of the most intoxicated drivers the Northern TAG team finds is clearly drunk at the wheel and unsteady on her feet. Refusing to co-operate, she won’t provide an evidential breath or blood sample. She is arrested and taken to Kaitaia police station, where she is searched, photographed, fingerprinted and bailed – while her drunken bravado tragically crumbles.  In the course of screening rural drivers, the Northern TAG officers find that the percentage of them over the legal alcohol limit is almost four times the rate for urban drivers. And so you are four times more likely to be killed by a drunk driver on a New Zealand country road than you are in the city. It is a very real and dangerous problem that the Traffic Alcohol Group is dedicated to solving.



Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producers: Catherine White & Tony Manson

Thanks to: The Officers of the Northern Traffic & Alcohol Group

Exec producer: John Harris

Network exec: Geoff Steven

Writer/director: Paul Hagan

Offline editor: Margaret Kelly

Online editor: Sacha Nunn

Graphics: Andrew Mortimer

Production manager: Aroha Shelford

Production assistant: Kandy Corvette

Production coordinator: Amy Toogood

Narrator: Derek Judge

Production accountants: Glenda Paterson, Jeanette Wiles-Crombie

Funded by: TVNZ