Community work for Tauranga drink-drive doc

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Dr Mustafa Sabanli leaves Tauranga Courthouse dressed in a mask after pleading guilty to drink driving charges. Photo / Joel Ford
Dr Mustafa Sabanli leaves Tauranga Courthouse dressed in a mask after pleading guilty to drink driving charges. Photo / Joel Ford

A Tauranga doctor caught driving drunk after fleeing police and crashing into a building has been sentenced to supervision and community work.

Mustafa Sabanli, 30, who earlier pleaded guilty to charges of driving with excess breath alcohol, driving in a dangerous manner, failing to stop for police and failing to remain stopped, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today.

Sabanli was caught drink-driving at more than double the breath alcohol limit in the early hours of June 17 after his Audi was seen being driven erratically on Takitumu Drive.

Twice police signalled for him to stop, but Sabanli drove on - turning off his headlights and swerving onto the wrong side of the road - and reaching speeds of more than 130km/h. He eventually lost control at Totara St and Hull Rd roundabout and hit a raised traffic island. His Audi became airborne and flew about 10 metres before crashing into a nearby factory building. The Audi was written off.

An evidential breath test revealed Sabanli had an alcohol reading of 924 micrograms - well over double the adult legal limit of 400 mcgs.

Judge Alayne Wills sentenced Sabanli today to 12 months' supervision, 130 hours' community detention and disqualified him from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay more than $2800 in reparation.

After pleading guilty on June 25, Sabanli left court wearing a Guy Fawkes' mask to avoid being photographed by waiting media.

When the Bay of Plenty Times attempted to seek comment from him as he left Tauranga courthouse via the back steps, Sabanli quickly removed the mask from a bag and placed it over his face.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board's medical director Dr John Kyngdon confirmed that Sabanli had resigned from his position but declined to make any further comment at the time.

Sabanli was a first time offender.

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