Five admit drinking and then driving

By staff reporter


Five people were sentenced on drink-driving charges in the Masterton District Court yesterday.

Quentin Victor Peter McKenzie pleaded guilty to one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Garry Wilson said McKenzie was stopped in Dixon St, Masterton, at 2am on January 1 and found to have a reading of 496mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Lawyer Jock Blathwayt said McKenzie had been drinking at a friend's house and his partner had gone missing. He had gone to search for her. Judge Peter Hobbs convicted and fined McKenzie $500, ordered him to pay court costs of $132.89 and disqualified him from driving for six months.

Rawinia Rosalyn Te Manawanui Tiori also pleaded guilty to one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol.

Mr Wilson said Tiori was pulled over by police at 6.15am on January 1 in Kuripuni St. She was found to have a reading of 818mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Tiori said she was only moving the vehicle off the road for safe keeping. Mr Blathwayt said she had intended to take the car a short distance to her mother's.

Judge Peter Hobbs convicted and fined Tiori $800, and disqualified her from driving for six months. She was also told to apply for a zero-alcohol licence.

In a separate case, Colin Francis Gardner pleaded guilty to one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol. Mr Wilson said Gardner was driving down Wakelin St about 9pm on January 10 when he was stopped by police. He was found to have a reading of 464mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Mr Blathwayt said the 66-year-old was driving friends a short distance when he was stopped.

As the reading was just over the legal limit of 400, Mr Blathwayt said it "wasn't surprising" Gardner thought he could drive. He had no previous convictions. Judge Hobbs fined Gardner $450 and ordered him to pay court costs of $132.89.

In another case, Margaret Anne Richardson appeared on one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol.

Mr Wilson said police stopped Richardson about 9pm on Friday January 4, in High St, Masterton.

She had admitted having two glasses of gin and two glasses of wine.

Mr Blathwayt pleaded guilty on her behalf, and said a loss of licence would cause her great difficulty.

Judge Hobbs said Richardson was found to have 549mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

"No doubt, you find yourself somewhat embarrassed to be in this situation," he said.

She was fined $500, ordered to pay court costs of $132.89 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Sidney James Sutherland also pleaded guilty on one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol, and represented himself.

Mr Wilson said Sutherland was stopped at a police checkpoint on January 4 at 8.23pm, with a reading of 555mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Judge Hobbs said Sutherland had a previous conviction from 2008, where he was found to have a reading of 1063mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. Because of that the judge convicted and disqualified him from driving indefinitely, adding he would eventually have to apply for a zero-alcohol licence.

In another incident, Maitland Ray Wells appeared on one charge of driving with excess breath-alcohol.

Mr Blathwayt entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, saying Wells had only started the car to turn on its cigarette lighter.

Mr Wilson said police had stopped him outside an address. He was remanded at large until March 20.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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