Drunken tractor jaunt

By Melissa Nightingale

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Being drunk in charge of a tractor has earned a Whanganui woman her first criminal conviction.

A member of the public called 111 on January 24 when they saw a tractor weaving in the lane on Springvale Rd. The driver, Luisa Bogileka, parked the vehicle and left it, and was later found by police. A breath test showed she had 796mcg of alcohol in her system. The legal limit is 250mcg.

Bogileka said it was her boss' tractor, and she "wanted to get home, which was at the other side of Whanganui", police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said on Tuesday.

Bogileka pleaded guilty in the Whanganui District Court to driving with excess breath alcohol.

Defence lawyer Stephanie Burlace said Bogileka was "extremely apologetic and embarrassed". "She simply can't explain the thought process at the time and doesn't want to. She knows there's no excuse," Ms Burlace said.

She said it was Bogileka's first offence. Judge Dugald Matheson said a taxi would have "probably cost $30".

"How did you get here today? Digger?" he asked.

The courtroom was filled with poorly suppressed giggles as Judge Matheson sentenced Bogileka. He fined her $700, $130 court costs, and disqualified her from driving from six months.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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