Power pole crash driver was drinking

By melissa.nightingale@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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A man who took out a power pole in a crash on Heads Rd was drink-driving at the time.

Darren Albert was driving on January 7 when he took a "moderate S-bend at excessive speed", crossed the centre line, spun 180 degrees, and hit a power pole, police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said on Tuesday.

Albert, who was not wearing a seat belt and was in breach of his learner licence, sheared the pole off at ground level.

Ms Willemsen told the Whanganui District Court that Albert was taken to hospital with leg injuries, and a blood sample was taken.

Albert had 121mg of alcohol in his blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

He has pleaded guilty to driving with excess blood alcohol, and dangerous driving. Defence lawyer Raukawa Simon said Albert had already organised reparation payment to Powerco for the pole.

"A young man, sir, silly mistake," she said.

The car, which Albert had just bought, was written off.

Judge Dugald Matheson said Albert was before him for "very bad driving".

"You are fortunate that you are standing there and not in a hospital bed," he said. Judge Matheson told Albert "good on you" for organising reparation payment to Powerco.

He ordered Albert also pay $219.25 reparation to the police for the blood test, sentenced him to 150 hours of community work, and disqualified him from driving for nine months.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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