drunk driving

Seriously? You’re going to try that excuse again?

A drunk driver who has clipped yet another person is trying to get a discharge without conviction for the second time.

A driver has admitted careless driving causing injury after hitting a cyclist and breaking his collarbone.

Blenheim woman Wendy Louise McDonald Florence, 52, was driving west on Stephenson St about 7pm on September 21.

Police said Florence paused at the Maxwell Rd intersection, which was controlled by a give way sign, before turning right onto Maxwell Rd, passing in front of a cyclist.

The cyclist, heading south on Maxwell Rd, was unable to stop in time to avoid Florence’s car, and crashed into the front right-hand side, the police summary of facts said.

He was knocked from his bike, breaking his right collarbone as he hit the tarseal.

The cyclist was taken to Blenheim’s Wairau Hospital by ambulance, where he had surgery to fix his collarbone using a metal plate.

Florence told police she did not see him when she pulled out.   Read more »

Photo of the Day

Horrific: New York State troopers at the scene of the terrible crash. (Photo: File photo/The Journal News)

Horrific: New York State troopers at the scene of the terrible crash. (Photo: File photo/The Journal News)

 Mummy’s Little Secret

Until a Devoted Mother Named Diane Schuler Killed Eight People, Including Herself, Her Daughter, and Three Nieces in a Horrific Car Accident, No one Suspected She could be an Alcoholic. 

In 2009, a 36-year-old mother with five small children in her minivan took a wrong turn on her way back from the Sullivan County campground where the family had spent the weekend to their house on Long Island. Diane Schuler, a successful account executive and the mother of two of the children in the car, sped up the Taconic Parkway in the wrong direction for almost two miles before crashing into an oncoming SUV. Eight people were killed: Schuler, her two-year-old daughter, her three nieces aged 8, 7 and 5. Three others died in the SUV she collided with, including a coupe in their sixties.

The crash was the most devastating motor-vehicle accident that Westchester County had witnessed in more than 70 years. Still, that wasn’t the reason the accident attracted national attention. For a few days, Schuler’s bizarre behavior was a mystery. She was, by all appearances, a great wife and devoted mother, a warm, responsible employee and boss at Cablevision—why had she lost her way? Explanations—excuses—were quickly advanced: The Taconic is a narrow highway with no shoulder and few places to pull over; Schuler suffered from diabetes and had been complaining that morning of a toothache.

When the toxicology reports came back two weeks later, the information they contained hit the American public, who were by then entranced by the story, like a proverbial ton of bricks. Diane Schuler had been not only drunk but also stoned as she made the fatal mistake of entering the Taconic via an exit ramp. In fact, Schuler had the equivalent of 10 drinks in her system and high levels of THC in her blood. In addition, witnesses later reported seeing Schuler at two different times that morning on her knees by the side of the road, apparently vomiting. A red minivan had been spotted careening, tailgating, flashing headlights, honking and straddling two lanes—all signs of DUI—along the same route that Schuler had followed.

In the minutes before Diane Schuler drunkenly smashed her vehicle while travelling in the wrong direction on the Taconic Parkway her little niece cried, terrified, into a cellphone to her dad:

“There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane!”

Those were the awful, last words of Emma Hance, who at 9 was the eldest of the five children riding in the death car during the fiery, horrific crash in Westchester. That child knew she was in trouble. Yet she had no choice but to ride on, helplessly, to her death.

Read more »

If you’re drunk at your job, would you be fired?

What if you were responsible for other people’s lives?  Do you think a fine is sufficient?

An Auckland taxi driver has been fined for drink driving after being stopped at a police checkpoint last night.

The driver could now be suspended from his job, while his passengers had to rely on the police to give them a lift.

When you hop into a cab you expect to get to your destination without any disruptions.

But three people heading into Auckland City to celebrate last night got a shock when their taxi was stopped at a checkpoint and they soon found out their driver had been celebrating himself.

“It is a concern that a taxi is carrying passengers and is over the limit,” says Sergeant Patrick Waters.

The incident has disappointed the Taxi Federation. Read more »

Judges need to harden up

If we can get done for one kilometer over the speed limit, why is a doctor getting away with being four times over the drink driving limit?

A doctor living in Blenheim has been discharged without conviction after she was caught drink-driving at more than four times the legal limit.

Wendy Louise McDonald Florence, 50, appeared in the Blenheim District Court for sentencing on the charge last Monday, after driving with a blood-alcohol level of 326 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood on September 8.

The legal limit at the time was 80mg, and is now 50mg.

Her lawyer Rob Harrison argued for a discharge without conviction on her behalf.

Florence was a qualified doctor in the United States, but had spent some time as a stay-at-home mother of her children in Blenheim, he said.

She intended to become a registered doctor in New Zealand, which would require a refresher course in the States, followed by a supervised training programme in New Zealand.

Harrison told the court his client had been a sober alcoholic for 10 years.

Bulldust.  There’s a lie in court right there.   The odds of a alcie going off the wagon for the first time, that spectacularly and getting caught drink driving are minuscule.    Read more »

60 hours community work? [POLL]

I find this extraordinary.  Caleb Harris reports:

A former Ministry of Transport manager sentenced for his second drink-driving charge in less than a year hopes others learn from his “fall from grace”.

Bruce Johnson, 47, was a key promoter of road safety with a 30-year public service career until he resigned last October after being caught drink-driving at more than double the legal limit in Martinborough, where he lives.

On August 2, less than four months after getting his licence back, he was again stopped while over the limit in the same town. A breath test showed 751 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Until last year’s conviction, Johnson was the ministry’s aviation and maritime group general manager.

He told The Dominion Post on Friday he had been unemployed since his resignation, and the conviction had cost him his job and career. He is getting professional help to deal with his drinking. Read more »

Five years for ratbag feral killer driver

I was sentenced to die by the mob and my daughter to be pack raped by the ferals on the West Coast for daring to use the word feral. They proved my point with their “outrage” and subsequent behaviour.

There was no outrage from the left about that or about “a rape culture” existing on the West Coast.

Instead they said I deserved death threats and my daughter by virtue of being my daughter deserved what she go too.

No all the fuss was because I called a bunch of ferals driving around the streets and fleeing police in Runanga feral ratbags.

Well the one drunk feral ratbag who actually cause the mayhem and death has been sentenced, but not so you would know it in the mainstream media who published endless articles about the outrage of the ferals for being called feral.

A Kumara man who caused the death of Runanga man Judd Hall, 26, by driving drunk while fleeing from police at high speed was sentenced to five years in prison at the Greymouth District Court this afternoon.   Read more »

Guy drives drunk, dies. Guess what the solution is?

File / not this specific accident

File / not this specific accident

One of our readers, POY, observes:

So a guy drives drunk and crashes into a ditch.

The speed limit was 100 and he was going 80kmh when he died.

Helen Mills describes her son Oliver as a good kid who paid for a bad decision with his young life.

Oliver Steven Mills, an apprentice plumber, died in June last year when his vehicle left the road in bad weather only a few hundred metres from home. He was 18. Read more »

Are coroners a special kind of stupid?

I despair with coroners in this country.

They come out with all sorts of bizarre recommendations and the latest one is no different.

A coroner is calling for better regulations of headlights following the death of a drunk man who was run over lying on a rural Hamilton road at night.

Hastings man William Gregory Hoskins was killed on January 15, 2012, after he was struck by a car on Marychurch Road in the early hours of the morning.

It is not known how he came to be lying on the road, Coroner Gary Evans said in findings released today.

Hoskins had travelled to Hamilton with family to attend a cousin’s wedding, and had been drinking at the reception.

A test found he had alcohol in his blood at a level of 190 milligrams per 100 millilitres, over twice the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers.

He had also smoked the equivalent of a single cannabis cigarette in the hours before his death, which may have accentuated the effects of alcohol, a report said.

In the hour before his death, Hoskin had texted his father and stepmother asking to pick him up and take him back to the motel they were staying at.

He was last seen at the reception about 4.25am, when he apparently left to walk back to the motel.

About 4.45am, his body was found by a motorist. He was alive but unconscious, and died shortly after paramedics arrived.  Read more »

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 »