Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Mum pleads guilty to neglect after drink-driving with son on lap

Mahi Tahu pictured leaving court today.
Mahi Tahu pictured leaving court today.

A mother has admitted neglect after drink-driving with her 3-year-old son on her lap.

Tahi Mahu, 34, plead guilty to a charge of neglect of a child under 18 when she appeared in the Huntly District Court this morning.

She also pleaded guilty to driving in a dangerous manner, driving without an appropriate licence and driving with excess breath alcohol.

Mahu was more than three times the legal limit when she drove down Great South Rd in Ngaruawahia at about 5pm on August 7, with her preschool-aged son on her lap.

The court heard Mahu almost collided with a police patrol car.

The Nissan car Mahu was driving swerved across the median strip and police had to brake to avoid hitting her, the court heard.

When police pulled her over they found Mahu's 3-year-old son sitting unrestrained on her lap and clutching the steering wheel.

Mahu blew 867mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, more than three times the 250mcg limit.

She told police she had drunk two boxes of Vodka cruisers the previous night. She said her son had "gone crazy" in the back seat of the car so she allowed him into the front.

Judge Simon Menzies convicted Mahu and remanded her on bail until sentencing on November 17.

He reminded Mahu a condition of her bail was that she not drive.

In the dock Mahu stood with her back to public gallery.

She left the court quickly and a friend yelled at a Herald reporter as they drove off.

- NZ Herald

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