Soft touch judge continues catch and release policy

NZ Police carry out roadside breath testing. Stuff.co.nz

Another dud judge of the week story, or at least a soft touch judge. What do you have to do to get penalised nowadays?

The Mountain Scene newspaper reports last week that an Arrowtown man with a serious drinking problem got a “wake-up call” when he was caught driving in the township with a breath alcohol level more than five times the legal limit last month. Quote.

It was the second conviction for Kirk Malyon Dyson,44, salesman, when he appeared in Queenstown’s court on Monday.

Dyson blew a whopping 1366mcg when he was stopped in Norfolk St on November 21. End quote.

I’m not exactly sure why it was a ‘wake up call’ for him. I know this guy, he’s an alcoholic and drinks heavily every day.  He knows he’s not allowed to drive when he is drunk, just like you know it too, so how come it is a ‘wake up call’ when he finally gets nabbed?

Just to remind you, the legal limit is currently 250 mcg. 1366 mcg is a massive number; most normal humans are well and truly unconscious at this level. Quote.

Duty solicitor Liam Collins said the defendant’s liver function was so poor it did not process alcohol properly, which may have contributed to such a high level. End quote.

Funny though, no mention of the fact that his liver is shagged because he has been pouring huge quantities of booze down his throat every day for years! Quote.

The incident had prompted Dyson to take steps to deal with his alcoholism, including undergoing detox and attending the Salvation Army’s Bridge programme.

He would move back to his mother’s home in Auckland. End quote.

Actually, I think you will find that it was his family that has forced him to go into rehab. Quote.

Judge Bernadette Farnan sentenced him to nine months’ supervision, during which he must undergo an alcohol and drug programme.

He was disqualified for 12 months. End quote.

So great isn’t it? 12 months off the road, if he chooses to abide by that restriction, and he has to do an alcohol abuse course! He won’t even have to re-sit his driver’s licence for goodness sake!

How about an actual penalty Judge Farnan? You know, like a stint in jail because he’s given one of the highest readings we have seen of late. He’d have to sober up there, and he wouldn’t be at risk of getting drunk and deciding to drive drunk again, putting countless people at risk every time. He could have all the alcohol courses he needs in there, and you would know where to find him if he didn’t front up on any given day.

Or maybe even Home Detention? Give the man a bracelet; then we’ll know if he’s popping down to his local for another session, just as he threatened to do this week when he had an argument with his Mum! I guess the alcohol abuse course hasn’t started yet!

But no, not even a fine. Other people in court that day for similar but lesser offences received fines, some of them pretty hefty, so why not Mr Dyson?

Is it just because of Labour’s catch and release policy and we don’t want to have to burden criminals with pesky penalties? The magnitude of your offending simply relates to how much of a victim you are, so it’s really not your fault!

Or is it just because he fooled the Judge into believing that his dodgy liver was the root of the problem? Conveniently forgetting that a dodgy liver doesn’t actually increase the amount of alcohol in the blood, he of course still had to drink the huge amount of booze that it takes to get to the sort of reading that he gave.

You’ve gotta drink way more than this to blow 1366!

At least the police attended this time. I am aware that this chap has been driving drunk most days for years, and the police have been informed on numerous occasions about where to find him driving while in a state. Unfortunately his undoing this time was to threaten to self-harm in order to garner sympathy from his girlfriend (not for the first time), and I understand that she subsequently reported him to the police and begged them to go and find him.

Perhaps Judge Farnan just felt sorry for him; he’s just a victim of his circumstances after all.

I guess we’re treating drunk driving as a health issue now too!


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