Drink driving

Sleeping it off? Probably not

With the new lower alcohol limits, people are discovering they are still over the limit when they drive home the next day.

The morning after your Christmas party might be your downfall under new drink drive laws.

The new limits will add a couple of hours to your sobering-up time, warns an emergency department specialist, meaning you could still be over the limit as late as mid-morning.

And women are particularly at risk of falling foul of the law, says clinical toxicologist Dr Paul Quigley.

“Even if females stop drinking at 1am and then go to bed and sleep they will still be over the legal limit at 10am. Under the old drink-driving levels they would just squeak under at 8am.”

The legal alcohol count for drivers aged 20 and over was lowered from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, or 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath (previously 400) on December 1.

Quigley expects more people will be ticketed by police in the mornings as stricter levels mean on average it will take men about an extra hour to fall below the new alcohol limit the next day, and up to two hours for women.

It’s getting to the point of “don’t drink and drive for 24 hours”.
Read more »

This isn’t a case of drink driving – surely this is something much worse?

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A pregnant woman who fled police after being stopped at a checkpoint on her way home for a night out drinking was “grossly intoxicated”, police say.

The 24-year-old woman, who was also a disqualified driver, failed to stop at the checkpoint in central Nelson, resulting in a short pursuit at about 3.20am, Sergeant David Lauer said.

The woman fled through a 50kmh residential area near Nelson Hospital at speeds of 70kmh for about a kilometre, before being pulled over by police.

She produced a reading of 938 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath – almost four times the new blood alcohol limit.

The woman was three months pregnant and “grossly intoxicated”, Lauer said.  Read more »

No more pandering to Royalty as Prince Paki is convicted

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The Maori King’s son will be convicted of drink driving, after the High Court ruled the consequences were “not irredeemable”.

Korotangi Paki, 19, was discharged without conviction in the Auckland District Court in July on two counts of burglary, one of theft and one of drink-driving.

Judge Philippa Cunningham discharged Paki after his lawyer, Paul Wicks QC, argued convictions would hinder his ability to accede the throne.

Cunningham said the consequences of a conviction were out of proportion to the offending.

Well, I’m sure that once he’s on the throne, he’ll just want to make people laugh.   Read more »

OK, what would you do with this man – before he kills someone?

This story fell off the edge yesterday, but it still needs some attention.  Police reporter Sam Boyer from the NZ Herald reported on this shocking state of events:

Brian Mitchell Hart, 58, from Hawkes Bay, has 20 convictions for drink-driving and 11 for driving while disqualified, and has been sent to prison 33 times for these and other offences.

But every time he gets out, he gets his licence back, drinks again and gets back behind the wheel.

He has twice been disqualified from driving “indefinitely”.

On one of those occasions, in 2002, he underwent counselling and treatment for alcohol addiction and after an assessment by a government-approved counsellor, was approved to get his licence back by the New Zealand Transport Authority.

Under the law, the toughest sentence for repeat drink-drivers is indefinite disqualification, which can be imposed only under a specific set of circumstances.

This is where Brian Hart can’t be stopped.  He doesn’t need a license, and he can access a new car if he so wishes.

Ready to put himself, others, and even children at risk of injury and death.   Read more »

Normally we have the laws but just fail to implement them

Rob Kidd explains

A 47-year-old man’s 18th drink-driving conviction has sparked calls for a radical law change that would allow judges to sentence the worst offenders to preventive detention – effectively locking them up for life.

Darren Corey Newport, 47, has now racked up 18 convictions for driving over the limit – two of them in back-to-back drink-driving episodes this year alone.

Newport joins four other men who each have 18 drink-driving convictions, sharing the dubious title of New Zealand’s worst drink drivers. Newport is the youngest of the bunch.

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that while the number of people convicted of drink driving has fallen in the past three years from 27,518 to 23,377, the number of repeat offenders has remained virtually unchanged.

Gary Fryer, whose son Lance was killed by another of New Zealand’s worst drink drivers in 2003, believes current penalties are insufficient to stop repeat offenders.

And Malcolm Barnett, whose daughter Krystal, 18, was killed by a driver high on P in 2005, says the law should allow recidivist drink and drugged drivers to be given preventive detention.

Recidivist is just a nice word for hopeless loser.   Read more »

If you get into a car with a drunk behind the wheel there is a good chance you are going to die

I think in my life I have only ever once driven after drinking, and that was when I was 17…it was stupid and it has never happened since.

But all too often we are hearing about people getting into vehicles where the driver of the vehicle is legally drunk and subsequently smashes the vehicle and kills one or more of the occupants while surviving themselves.

We have a culture of calling the victims ‘innocent’ because they were passengers, but the reality is that people make choices, often poor ones, without realising that the cascading events can all combine and result in their death or serious injury.

The mother of a young woman killed in an alleged drink-driving accident is calling for a zero tolerance approach towards drink driving.

Ngaire Parker’s daughter Ashley Walsh and fellow passenger Tye Gibbs died after the van they were travelling in crashed on Old North Road, Kumeu, last August.

The 22-year-old driver Joel Bowlin was charged on Friday with two counts of driving with excess blood alcohol causing death.    Read more »

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Why do sports stars think they can get away with crimes?

Here we go again.

The NZ Herald reports on yet another sports star before the courts claiming special privileges lest their career be upset by a conviction.

An international basketball player will seek a discharge without conviction on a drink-drive charge today in a bid to save her sporting career.

Tall Fern Jordina Katu said the “stupid” mistake should not prevent her from fulfilling her potential in basketball and insisted she had given up alcohol to prove she had taken the incident seriously.

The 27-year-old will be sentenced this morning at the Auckland District Court, where she will argue that a conviction could limit her international travel.

She blew a reading of 704 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when she was stopped in May. The adult legal limit is 400mcg.  Read more »

Time to throw away the key

He has received his 99th prison sentence, and clearly the punishments over the years have done nothing to stop this ratbag…time to throw away the key.

Unfortunately for us he got a dud judge…who decided that 16 months in prison…likely to only be 6 months…was perfectly adequate for a career criminal.

A New Plymouth conman and repeat drink-driver has been given his 99th prison term after driving home a woman he met in a pub.

Ian Arthur Lehndorf, 62, admitted drink driving and disqualified driving at Bell Block on August 24.

Lehndorf had accumulated 98 previous jail sentences – most involving multiple convictions for frauds – coupled with a raft of disqualified driving and drink-driving offences. He was also on a final warning.

“You of all people should know the consequences of apprehension,” Judge Allan Roberts told Lehndorf when sentencing him in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday.

Lehndorf’s lawyer, Jo Woodcock, said her client had been dry for eight years, but succumbed one night at Shifty’s Bar in Bell Block.  Read more »

I bet he was registered

The Labour party and teacher unions oppose charter schools because there is no mandatory requirement for all teachers at the schools to be registered.

They maintain that registration will protect kids. Yet day after day we see registered teachers before the courts for everything from kiddy fiddling to drink driving to fraud.

I wonder how this guy kept his registration…probably the union rep is my guess.

A teacher who was found driving so drunk he was off the scale of police breathalysers has been told he can continue in the classroom.

The Teacher’s Council released its decision today on whether to allow the American-born man to continue teaching today, following a disciplinary tribunal hearing..

His convictions came to light after a background check when he applied for a teaching licence in August last year, and was referred to the Council complaints committee.   Read more »

The Huddle

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I was on Larry Williams show, The Huddle,last night, with Josie Pagani.

Our topics were:

  • The Labour Party conference – now there’s a new man ban. Can’t see that changing things in the polls in a hurry.
  • Then there’s these horrid little oiks going online boasting about their exploits with underage and drunk girls. The cops say they can’t prosecute them because there’s no evidence other than the online bragging. This is  a difficult one, because the cops need hard evidence – but surely these kids should have been dealt with as soon as this whole thing started.
  • The government lowering the drink driving limit.   Read more »