Surgeon fights drink drive conviction

By Sandra Conchie -
File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A trainee surgeon found guilty of a drink-driving charge is now fighting being convicted.

Lisa Catherine Edwards, 40, appeared in the Tauranga District Court for sentencing after Judge Louis Bidois ruled a charge of driving with an excess breath alcohol of 876mcg proven during a defended hearing on January 11.

But her lawyer, Bill Nabney, asked the judge not to enter a conviction as he would be seeking a discharge without conviction on the grounds that a conviction would seriously harm Edwards' career.

At 12.20am on July 30 last year, Edwards was on her way home from a Mt Maunganui bar when she was stopped on Totara St.

When taken back to the police station, she returned an evidential breath test reading of 876 micrograms - more than twice the adult legal limit of 400mcg.

At the defended hearing, Edwards told the court she had drunk three standard glasses of red wine and two small glasses of port since 8.45pm but did not think she was intoxicated.

Edwards challenged the validity of all the prosecution's evidence, claiming she was not breathalysed at the roadside, was given two breath screening tests back at the police station and was also not given her legal rights, including her right to phone for legal advice.

Sergeant Dan Roser, the officer in charge of the Western Bay traffic alcohol group, gave evidence that he had stopped Edwards in her Mercedes after seeing her swerving in her lane.

He said that at no stage were the necessary legal steps compromised.

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