Following a south Auckland booze blitz which nabbed 81 alleged drink-drivers on Saturday night, nzherald.co.nz follows those and other offenders through the court process and gauges their reaction.

MANUKAU

Sanjay Asveen Chandra

has been caught three times this year, and on one occasion had over three times the legal limit of alcohol in his bloodstream.

He pleaded guilty in the Manukau District Court today.

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Chandra's lawyer, Ted Faleauto, applied for Chandra to get bail while awaiting sentencing. He said his client had two young children, one of whom had recently undergone heart surgery.

But Judge Charles Blackie declined the request and called Chandra a "hazard to the public".

"You are an accident waiting to happen", said Judge Blackie.

Chandra has been remanded in custody until February when he will be sentenced.

Many others caught up in a police's drink driving blitz last weekend have appeared at Manukau today.

Siosoia Kofi Makoni

, 35, has been ordered to pay $750 in fines and has had his driver's licence disqualified for six months.

Makoni told nzherald.co.nz that he had been drinking with a cousin at

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the beach when he was pulled over by police.

"At the time I didn't worry but now, I come to court and I feel bad,"

Makoni said.

He said he will have to get a family member to drive his children to school.

Makoni said it was not the first time he had driven after drinking

but he hoped he would not be back in court again.

Edwin Sharma

, 29, also appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to drink driving and driving while disqualified.

Sharma has been remanded on bail until February 7.

According to the police charge sheet, he was over twice the limit

when he was pulled over on Favona Rd yesterday. Sharma had 802mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

AUCKLAND

A string of drink drivers appeared before the Auckland District Court this morning.

One of the younger people to be convicted of driving with excess breath alcohol today was

Nancy Williams

, 17.

Williams was caught driving on Great North Rd on November 29 with a breath alcohol reading of 256mcg - the youth limit is 150mcg.

Due to her lack of previous convictions and early guilty plea Judge Everitt convicted and fined Williams $280, $130 court costs and disqualified her from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for the minimum of three months.

One of the more shocking cases of drink driving heard by nzherald.co.nz today was that of

Osaiasi Fanguna

.

Fanguna, 33, a painter, was charged four times on December 6 and is facing four different driving charges.

In court today sentencing could not commence because there was not a Tongan interperator.

"He's been driving about the place in Auckland, in an unwarranted vehicle, without a motor licence; he knows what's going on," said Judge Everitt.

Fanguna was able to tell the judge his address and phone number with ease.

It is alleged that on December 6, the night of the Booze Blitz, Fanguna caused an accident on Elstree Avenue in Glen Innes.

Other charges are pending.

He was remanded on bail and will reappear in court next week.

Colin Krause

, 22, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol.

Krause, a full time student, was found to have a breath alcohol level of 776mcg - just under two times the adult limit of 400mcg.

His lawyer Helen Munro told the court that Krause accepted the summary and was prepared to pay a fine - at $10 per week.

Judge Thomas Everitt said: "I don't think that will be acceptable Ms Munro. That's a high level for a young man."

The defendant then said he would soon be starting full time work.

Krause was convicted and fined $800 with court costs of $130 and was disqualified from driving for six months.

Pre-school teacher

Lydia Tuafafo

, who crossed the centre line and crashed her car while drunk driving, also appeared before the Auckland District Court today.

Tuafafo, 25, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving for her September 20 indiscretion.

At 6am Tuafafo, who had a breath alcohol level of 860mcg, crossed the centre line and crashed into a fence.

Judge Everitt said: "It was a very high reading for that time of the morning. The level was very high and involved a dangerous act - you could have killed somebody."

He convicted and fined her on both counts and ordered she pay a fine of $1000, court costs of $130 and disqualified her from holding a licence for nine months.

Sickness beneficiary

Joseph Lilo

, who has a broken back, was caught speeding while over double the drink-driving limit.

Lilo, 25, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol.

Lawyer Ms Munro said Lilo "drove a family member's car because he was considered the most sober", following a drinking session on November 4.

When stopped by police he gave a reading of 954mcg.

Judge Everitt said "fortunately for the people of Western Springs he was caught by police speeding at 77km/h".

Despite asking to be fined, Judge Everitt said in his experience sickness beneficiaries usually failed to pay fines and convicted and sentenced Lilo to 150 hours of community work and disqualified him from holding or obtaining a licence for nine months.

Nihat Avdovik

also appeared before the court after being caught while over two times the legal limit.

Avdovik, 29, a tile-layer, pleaded guilty to driving with a breath alcohol limit of 946mcg.

Judge Everitt said: "You must have been very drunk. You must have been affected by alcohol." He took into account the limit while considering the fine.

Avdovik was convicted and fined $1000, court costs of $140 and was disqualified from driving for nine months.

Roger Brooking, of Alcohol & Drug Assessment and Counselling, told nzherald.co.nz that a major cause of the country's drink driving problem is not being adequately addressed.

Only 5-7 per cent of people convicted of drink driving offences are referred by Judges to alcohol treatment and counselling programs, says Brooking.

He says the Government could be doing more: "Over ten residential treatment programmes have closed down in the last decade, primarily because the government was not committed to funding them."

- NZHERALD STAFF