Law catches up with drink-driver

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
1 comment
A false name has caught up with a woman driver trying to avoid a drink-drive conviction. PHOTO/FILE
A false name has caught up with a woman driver trying to avoid a drink-drive conviction. PHOTO/FILE

IT TOOK three years, but if the name fits, so does the crime.

A Wairarapa woman who gave a false name when stopped for drink-driving nearly three years ago has been sentenced to community work.

Janine Ann Feakin, 48, faced a sentence for drink-driving for the third or more time, and driving while forbidden for the third or more time, as well as giving false details about her identity, in March 2013.

Feakin was found guilty at a defended hearing on September 1 last year, before Judge Barbara Morris, who was also the sentencing judge.

Judge Morris said Feakin had tried to avoid responsibility by giving a false name, and had made a "futile attempt to defend the charge" after being arrested last year.

Feakin's lawyer, Steve Taylor, who had not represented her at the trial, said she had "accepted" advice from him that there were no grounds for appealing the conviction, as it was a "matter of credibility".

"Your honour preferred (the evidence of) the police officer to that of her friend."

Mr Taylor said there had been a "significant turnaround" in Feakin's life, in that she had not consumed alcohol since March 2013 -- something backed up in the pre-sentence report.

Judge Morris said that in March 2013 Feakin had been stopped by police and tested for breath alcohol, showing a reading of 679mcg.

"You gave your sister's name, but the fingerprints taken were from you, not your sister," the judge said.

She said Feakin was not eligible for a sentence that avoided a disqualification and "even if you were, the public interest would dictate (otherwise)".

Feakin had previous convictions for drink-driving in 2012 and 2007, and for disqualified driving in 2010 and 2008. She was sentenced to 100 hours' community work and nine months' supervision including alcohol and drug counselling, and disqualified from driving for one year and five months.

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