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. Â Read more »