Turanga Mahaki who drove drunk to police station jailed for six months

This was Turanga Mahaki's fourth drink-driving conviction in the past six years, Judge Kevin Phillips said. Photo / File Photo
This was Turanga Mahaki's fourth drink-driving conviction in the past six years, Judge Kevin Phillips said. Photo / File Photo

A man on a zero-alcohol driver's licence who drank a bottle of bourbon before driving his work vehicle to a police station so he could talk to police was jailed for six months yesterday.

Gisborne Turanga Mahaki (36), of Alexandra, was sentenced on a charge of being a zero-alcohol licence holder and driving with a breath-alcohol level of 761mcg on April 1 at Omakau.

It was Mahaki's fourth drink-driving conviction in the past six years, Judge Kevin Phillips said.

"You're at very high risk of reoffending and very high risk, in my view, of causing harm to others," Judge Phillips told the defendant, who appeared in the Alexandra District Court.

"You have a major problem with alcohol addiction which led you here today."

Counsel Russell Checketts said Mahaki worked in the shearing industry and his job included driving the shearing gang's van.

Judge Phillips said the defendant drove the van to a police station "to talk to them about a matter they wanted to talk to you about" and smelled of alcohol, so was breath-tested.

"The facts, as disclosed to me, were that you drank a bottle of bourbon before you drove ... "

Mahaki was unsuitable for home detention.

He was disqualified from driving indefinitely and, when he was permitted to drive again, he would have to have a zero-alcohol licence again, the judge said.

He warned the defendant's employers that if the van was used again "in the commission of an offence", it would be forfeited.

• Drivers can be ordered by the courts to get a zero-alcohol licence, which means they must maintain a zero-alcohol limit while driving. That limit applies for three years.

- Otago Daily Times

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