Tall Fern's drink-drive court plea

Jordina Katu.
Jordina Katu.

An international basketball player will seek a discharge without conviction on a drink-drive charge today in a bid to save her sporting career.

Tall Fern Jordina Katu said the "stupid" mistake should not prevent her from fulfilling her potential in basketball and insisted she had given up alcohol to prove she had taken the incident seriously.

The 27-year-old will be sentenced this morning at the Auckland District Court, where she will argue that a conviction could limit her international travel.

She blew a reading of 704 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when she was stopped in May. The adult legal limit is 400mcg.

Katu, who has signed with Melbourne club Craigieburn Eagles for this year's Victorian season and is a member of the Tall Ferns squad, said her dream was competing at the 2016 Olympics and a conviction would make her consider giving up playing.

The Pakuranga resident was out celebrating a friend's 30th birthday and the group's designated sober driver had too much to drink.

Katu decided to take the wheel. "I got in the car, and turned the corner, and got pulled over from there."

Katu said she had taken steps to prove she regretted her action. As well as stopping drinking, she had completed a month-long drink-driving rehabilitation course.

She denied a discharge would show favouritism to sports stars.

In November, polocrosse player Casey Anne Mullany, 29, was convicted in the Gisborne District Court of drink-driving after police appealed against a judge's decision to grant a discharge without conviction.

Mullany is appealing.

- APNZ

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