Drink driver within just hair's breadth' of prison

By Trevor Quinn

A 47-year-old convicted on her fourth and fifth drink driving charges was disqualified from driving indefinitely and told she had come within a "hair's breadth" of prison.

Hine Biddle, of Solway, Masterton, pleaded guilty in Masterton District Court to two drink driving charges, on June 29 and November 9.

In both incidents Biddle's alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

The farm labourer and former Golden Shears competitor was stopped at midnight on June 29 by police in Masterton, recording a breath alcohol level of 807 micrograms per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

While on bail in relation to that charge, Biddle was stopped around midnight by police during a checkpoint operation on November 10 in Chapel St, Masterton. Her alcohol level was 899mcg per litre of breath.

Biddle had a history of previous drink driving offences dating back to 2002, 2004 and 2010.

"Make no mistake, you have come within a hair's breadth of prison," Judge Denys Barry said.

"If you come back on another drink driving charge, you will be turning a key into a prison cell."

Judge Barry said he did not believe Biddle understood the seriousness of the situation after she "blindly" pleaded guilty and did not request any legal representation. He deferred the case temporarily and recommended the defendant seek legal advice.

Judge Barry took the early guilty pleas and Biddle's positive work ethic in the shearing industry into consideration.

Biddle was disqualified for two years for the June 29 offence and disqualified indefinitely for the November 10 offence. She was sentenced to a four-month community detention period with a home curfew between the hours of 4.30am and 7pm, and 150 hours of community work.


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