More than five people a week on average are convicted of drink-driving in Wairarapa and more than half are repeat offenders.
Police say drivers need to step up and take responsibility for their actions.
"They need to change their attitude from: 'Let's not get caught' to 'Let's not drive at all'," Masterton road safety Sergeant Chris Megaw said.
Figures released by the Justice Ministry to the Times-Age show 146 people were convicted for drink-driving in the Masterton District Court in the six months to June. The number convicted on repeat drink-drive offences stood at 84 on June 30.
This year's full-year figures look set to be significantly higher than last year, when 112 people were convicted of repeat offences, or 2010's 125 repeat offenders.
Mr Megaw said drink-driving was not only dangerous, but a huge inconvenience to those caught: "The drink-driving [conviction] goes hand-in-hand with disqualification and impoundment."
Between 220 and 250 vehicles are impounded each year in Wairarapa.
"It makes it difficult for people to get their children to school [and] for people to get to work," he said.
"Simple things like getting the groceries becomes a mission."
Mr Megaw said police could not tackle the problem alone; the community had to step up.
"It would be naive of us to suggest that someone who's going to a social occasion out in the country is going to consider that drink-driving is an issue for them because obviously there is minimal enforcement out there and the opportunity to get caught is not in the back of their mind."
Two fatal crashes related to alcohol and drug-impaired driving occurred in the region last year. There were none in 2010.
Serious crashes linked to alcohol and drug-impaired driving had halved, from eight in 2010 to four in 2011.
Wairarapa's worst drink-driver this year was more than three times the legal limit, registering a breath-alcohol reading of 1393mcg.
Nationally, nearly 14,000 drink-drive convictions were handed down by courts in the first six months of the year.
A driver convicted on Auckland's North Shore had the country's highest alcohol reading for the period, at 1884mcg.
NZ Transport Agency general manager strategy and performance Ernst Zollner said New Zealand needed to clamp down on drink-drivers.
"In spite of a reduction in alcohol-related road fatalities over the past 20 years, drink-driving is still a factor in around one out of every three fatal crashes on New Zealand roads.
"Far too many people still think it is okay to get behind the wheel after they've been drinking," Mr Zollner said.
Deaths from alcohol and drug-impaired driving have dropped in the past two years, from 144 in 2010 to 85 in 2011.
Serious-injury crashes linked to alcohol and drug-impaired driving had also fallen from 554 to 452.
Mr Zollner said sanctions introduced in September give judges the ability to require serious or repeat drink-drivers to have alcohol interlock devices fitted to their vehicles. The devices prevent cars from starting if alcohol is detected in the driver's system. Repeat drink-drivers can also be issued with a "zero-alcohol driver licence".
Inspector Pete Baird also warned motorists to be careful over the holiday season.
"Anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated puts not only themselves at risk, but also other innocent road users." - APNZ
Masterton District Court drink-driving convictions:
January to June : 146
Highest alcohol reading recorded in six months to June (micrograms per litre of breath):
New Zealand: 1884
Note: Legal limit is 400mcg for drivers aged 20 years and over
Source: Ministry of Justice