A driver found to have an excess breath-alcohol level after he returned to a crash scene to retrieve his vehicle, and dubbed by police as one of Dannevirke's dumbest criminals, has had his day in court.
David Abraham James Kendrick, 19, was observed pulling into the carpark opposite the Mangatera Hotel about 4.10am on July 15.
Kendrick attempted to tow the crashed vehicle with a ute but was unable to do so and flagged down a police vehicle to help him.
He was breath-tested and produced a result of 637 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, which is more than 1 times the legal adult limit. The legal limit for under 20 is zero.
When spoken to by police, Kendrick admitted drinking and said he knew he was over the limit but just wanted to get his car home after it had crashed.
In the Dannevirke District Court last week, he was convicted and fined $500, ordered to pay court costs of $132.89, and disqualified from driving for six months.
In relation to the same case, a Dannevirke man who has never held a driver's licence also appeared in the Dannevirke District Court last week on charges of driving the car owned by Kendrick while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and dangerous driving.
Being under the influence didn't deter Bruce Wayne Angus, 19, from getting behind the wheel of the car. He blamed his actions on peer pressure.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Ollie Outtrim, told the court that between midnight and 2.30am on July 15, Angus was drinking and smoking cannabis at a friend's property.
"During this time, the defendant and two of his associates sat out in a car and at 2.45am, the keys to the vehicle came into his possession," Mr Outtrim said.
"He and his associates drove off with the defendant behind the wheel of the car."
Angus drove out on to Seddon St, down Queen St before turning into Allardice St and then onto SH2.
"During this time, he was observed driving at speeds of 100km/h and he made no attempt to slow, stop or give way at the controlled intersections. He then travelled north along High St, accelerating throughout until he reached the carpark across from the Mangatera Hotel."
Mr Outtrim said Angus swung into the southern entrance to the carpark and accelerated towards the exit at the opposite end.
"As he approached the exit, he lost control of the vehicle, narrowly missing a concrete power pole before colliding with a fence and posts."
The vehicle was damaged to the extent it was no longer driveable. Realising this, Angus and his two passengers ran from the scene.
"When spoken to by police on August 9, Angus admitted the facts as outlined and stated he had only driven as a result of peer pressure and that he was too drunk and stoned to resist," Mr Outtrim said.
Judge Bridget Mackintosh said the situation never sounded pretty when the facts were read out.
"You are lucky to be alive and lucky you didn't hurt anyone.
"You shouldn't even be driving as you don't have a driver's licence. This is a very serious type of offending which upsets me as you could so easily have taken out an innocent person.
"Driving is about trust. You go off in your car trusting there is no idiot out there."
Judge Mackintosh said the upside was that Angus had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and he had no previous convictions.
"You are young and obviously in bad company," she said.
Angus was convicted and sentenced to a term of community work, disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay reparation of $500.
He was also given six months' supervision and ordered to undergo alcohol and drug counselling and complete any programmes as directed by probation.