Jail term for drink-driver


Kevin Snedden was out on bail for drink driving when he was again caught drunk behind the wheel - this time more than twice over the legal alcohol limit.

The 46-year-old left the Whangarei District Court with no alternative but to send him to jail for his eighth and ninth drink driving charges.

He blew 728 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath on April 28 when stopped by police on State Highway 1. While out on bail, Snedden was spotted driving on SH1 in Hikurangi at 10.30am on July 14.

Officers in a patrol car observed the car he was driving drifting towards the centre line and as he pulled left, Snedden almost lost control.

He blew 880mcg - more than twice the legal limit of 400mcg for those over 20.

His lawyer, John Day, said home detention would have been a likely option if Snedden had not re-offended while on bail and there was no driving fault.

He needed treatment for alcohol difficulties and tendered a letter in court from a prospective employer.

Mr Day said his client pleaded guilty early and was extremely remorseful.

Judge John McDonald said Sneddon was an idiot if he did not know that driving while grossly intoxicated was highly dangerous.

Driving was not a right but a privilege in New Zealand and people must pass a strict test in order to get behind the wheel, he said.

Judge McDonald said Northland had the highest number of drink drivers in the country, with repeat offenders the greatest danger to other road users.

He said a condition of Snedden's bail from his offending on April 28 was not to drive after drinking at all.

Snedden was sentenced to 20 months in jail and disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for two years for his eighth and ninth drink driving convictions.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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