In the wake of last year's Operation Unite blitz on alcohol-fuelled driving and disorder, Hawke's Bay Police dealt with just seven drink-drivers and were left hoping "long may it continue".
But as the statistics for the weekend's blitz, the sixth to be staged across New Zealand and Australia, were collated yesterday it became clear it had not.
On the Friday night alone, 14 people were processed for excess breath-alcohol after being stopped at checkpoints across the region - double the figure over the whole weekend last year.
On Saturday it was little better, with another 12 drivers processed for being over the legal limit.
In 2009 there were 17 people caught, and 22 in 2010, which was the highest recorded in the Operation Unite series - until last weekend when the figure hit 26.
"Operation Unite had a focus on alcohol and its effects on the community, and in Hawke's Bay the results show that we still have a long way to go as a community in learning how to drink sensibly," Eastern Road Policing Manager Inspector Chris Wallace said, adding that the number of people caught drink-driving over the weekend continued to be of major concern to police.
"Despite all the advertising, the media coverage and the ongoing road carnage, some people just aren't getting the message. Ideally we shouldn't have caught anyone driving over the limit at the weekend - 26 is way too many drunk people driving and potentially causing death and harm on our roads."
Mr Wallace said while the vast majority of drivers passed breath testing at the weekend, there was still a hard core of drivers who continued making bad decisions.
"We still have a long way to go with a number of drivers who think they can drive when they have been drinking."
Hawke's Bay Police were part of a 1500-strong policing team across the country which targeted alcohol-related offending.
Nationally, there were 364 drink-drive offences, which not surprisingly left police unimpressed.
"That's 364 people that we shared our roads with who put not only themselves and their passengers at risk but every other innocent road user as well," Road Policing National Manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said.
Arrests for violence and public disorder, and assaults, were also up over the previous year, with 448 arrests across the country and 170 reported assaults.
In 2011 the figures were 340 and 94 respectively.
The only bright spot in the region's statistics was that there were no licensing breaches at any of the bars and liquor outlets visited.
On the drink-driving front, a total of 6285 drivers were stopped at checkpoints set up mainly in the Napier and Hastings areas.
Mr Griffiths said while the operation had been wrapped up, the figures ensured police would keep the heat on drink-driving and drunken behaviour.
"We will be out in force throughout the Christmas holiday season, targeting drink-driving, drunken behaviour and other alcohol-related offending," he said, adding that alcohol abuse was not simply a problem for police to deal with.
"It is a community issue too. The challenge to all of us as individuals, friends, families and whanau is to confront our drinking habits and do our part to stay safe, so that we can all be around to enjoy next Christmas."