A "really major" recidivist drink driver was offered a chance to get on the right side of the law when he appeared in Wellington District Court today.
Raymond Davey, 51, unemployed, was looking at a jail term when he fronted up to Judge Carrie Wainwright after a relapse two days ago.
The Porirua man admitted driving with 1036 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.
"It's a huge reading. I don't know how he could stand, let alone get into a car," said Judge Wainwright.
"It is at the lethal point."
Asked if he accepted he had a problem with alcohol, Davey said he did, but it was a major difficulty staying sober in Porirua's Cannon's Creek, always meeting up with whanau and "bros".
Lawyer Sue Insley said his offences had ranged over 35 years but there had been a long gap between the previous and the current instances.
"Though obviously he has an alcohol problem, the mistake he has made is driving," she said.
Davey would have to suspend the $7000 logging course he embarked on to serve a prison sentence. Ms Insley asked for bail until tomorrow to allow him time to pick up his $4000 worth of equipment from the forest site.
He did not want his wife to have to pay the cost of his course if he abandoned it uncompleted. It was due to continue until next May.
Davey told the judge he had stopped drinking for six months so he could start the forestry training five months ago. He had been off the booze until his recent fall from the wagon.
When Judge Wainwright asked: "Do you think you would drink less if you were not in Porirua?" Davey replied: "Yes, I think I would."
Said prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Shaw: "You can take the boy out of Porirua if you want to..."
The judge said she realised it might be "postponing the inevitable."
She decided Davey needed treatment.
"If he doesn't comply then he knows where he is going - and for a very long time I would think," said Sgt Shaw.
On the dangerous driving charge, Judge Wainwright sentenced Davey to 18 months intensive supervision, including suitable treatment and counselling. He would be under judicial monitoring (with regular appearances before the court while the sentence lasted).
On the drink driving and disqualified driving counts, she remanded him until February 15 for sentencing, calling for a pre-sentence report to include a home detention appendix and an alcohol assessment report.
Davey was bailed to his Porirua home with a ban on alcohol.
Judge Wainwright urged him to engage in his treatment "heart, mind and soul" or he would be treated as "someone who doesn't care."
Davey's main focus was to make sure he never drank and drove again, no matter how hard it was, she said.
"I am giving you one hell of a break here and how you repay it is by doing what you say you will do."