French driver: I was following French road rules

It was alleged Suptille claimed to be adhering to French road rules. Photo / Thinkstock
It was alleged Suptille claimed to be adhering to French road rules. Photo / Thinkstock

A French tourist who allegedly attempted to blame police after being accused of drink-driving on January 1 has been remanded without plea until January 28 to apply for legal aid.

Susie Suptille, 30, a cleaner, failed to appear in the Queenstown District Court before Judge Kevin Phillips yesterday morning, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

However, after a morning adjournment Suptille presented herself at the court, saying she "slept in" after working late on Sunday night.

The French national faces three charges - dangerous driving, drink-driving with a breath alcohol level of 765mcg and refusing to accompany an enforcement officer without delay, after crashing into an oncoming taxi on New Year's Day.

Duty solicitor Steve Turner asked that the matter be remanded for Suptille to make the legal aid application, given the "number of aggravating factors".

After her arrest, Senior Constable Chris Blackford said Suptille was driving on the wrong side of the road at 4.40am on January 1, and collided head-on with the taxi. No one was injured.

It was alleged Suptille claimed to be adhering to French road rules and as New Zealand authorities had permitted her to drive, she said they should have taken some responsibility.

In court, Judge Phillips said he was "not impressed by this woman at all", particularly given her comment as to "whose fault it was".

"It appears to me there's an attitude of arrogance and ... an inability to understand basic New Zealand law."

Judge Phillips granted the remand, but her passport remains with the police. Suptille was one of nine drink-drivers the judge saw yesterday, six of them foreign.

- Otago Daily Times

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