Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Former All Black Troy Flavell admits drink driving: 'I made a terrible, disgusting mistake'

Ex-Blues enforcer Troy Flavell appeared in Auckland District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to a count of driving with excess breath alcohol. Photo: NZPA / Wayne Drought
Ex-Blues enforcer Troy Flavell appeared in Auckland District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to a count of driving with excess breath alcohol. Photo: NZPA / Wayne Drought

A former All Black has admitted to driving drunk - at more than three times the legal limit.

Ex-Blues enforcer Troy Flavell, 39, appeared in Auckland District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to a count of driving with excess breath alcohol.

But he refused to make any bid for name suppression because it was important he took responsibility for his actions in the eyes of the community, he said.

His lawyer Steve Cullen told the court Flavell was adamant he wanted young people to learn from his mistake.

"I made a terrible, disgusting mistake and an embarrassingly poor decision. Obviously my actions come with consequences and I want to take that on the chin and move forward from this. I want to urge young people to understand - don't get behind the wheel after drinking," the former rugby star told the Herald outside court.

On June 21, Flavell had been at a work meeting in Ponsonby.

"Alcohol was consumed, he patently miscalculated how much," Mr Cullen said.

Flavell then got behind the wheel and drove from Ponsonby Rd, heading to his home on the North Shore.

But it was only a few hundred metres before he realised he should not have been driving and pulled over.

A concerned member of the public saw him asleep in the vehicle on Curran St and contacted police.

They conducted breath tests and Flavell blew a reading of 803 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath and because he was technically in control of the car the charge was laid.

The new drink-driving limit is 250.

It was the second time the former All Black had been convicted of the offence; Community Magistrate Lavinia Nathan said the last one was in 1995.

She fined Flavell $900, plus court costs of $130, and banned him from driving for seven months.

The Auckland hard man had an uncompromising reputation on the field and appeared more recently in court in 2004 where he admitted assaulting a 23-year-old man.

A punch thrown by Flavell at Coast Bar left the victim with broken teeth and potential dental costs of up to $55,000 over the man's lifetime, the court heard.

He was fined $5500.

Towards the end of his career, Flavell reportedly made big money playing in Japan and France, and he still laces up the boots at the weekend.

He told the Herald he was currently playing for Massey presidents and was working on setting up a rugby academy in Thailand.

His lawyer said he was involved in a lot of voluntary work and would "redeem himself".

- NZ Herald

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