Home detention for 'lower end' drug dealer

By Mike Dinsdale

A Whangarei man has been sentenced to home detention after police found cannabis oil and cannabis resin at his home, and banned from driving with any alcohol in his system for his fourth drink driving conviction.

Lindsay Thomas Smith, 42, appeared in Whangarei District Court this week after pleading guilty to charges of possessing cannabis oil for supply, possessing cannabis resin, possessing a pipe for smoking cannabis and driving with excess breath alcohol for a third or subsequent time.

Judge Keith de Ridder said police went to Smith's Ngaio St, Onerahi, home on November 14, last year and found three caps of cannabis oil, a small block of cannabis resin and a pipe, along with $322 cash made from dealing the oil.

Judge de Ridder said Smith was cooperative with police and assisted them in finding the drugs. While a teenage child was also living at the address, the dealing was being done at a pub and the nearby shopping centre.

Smith was stopped driving on October 4, last year after being clocked at 70km/h in a 50km/h zone, and had a level of 701 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, well above the 400mcg limit.

Judge de Ridder said home detention was an appropriate sentence for Smith, who had pleaded guilty early, as the drug offending was at the lower end of the scale.

He sentenced Smith to a total of six months' home detention, disqualified him from driving for 18 months and ordered that he be subject to a zero alcohol limit when driving after the disqualification.

Under section 65b of the Land Transport Act 1998, recidivist drink drivers convicted of two or more offences in the previous five years can be subject to the zero limit.

It entails the person having to carry a special pink driving licence that alerts an officer to the fact that the person cannot have any alcohol in their system.

- Northern Advocate

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