The country's worst drink driver has undergone a lengthy prison rehabilitation programme aimed at stopping him offending again upon his release next month.

The Parole Board today publicly released its latest decision on recidivist offender Raymond Charles Laing.

Laing was sentenced in 2012 to three years in prison for his 26th drink driving charge and 31st charge of driving while disqualified. He will have served his full sentence on May 15, and must be released.

At his last Parole Board hearing on March 19, Laing declined to appear before the board. In a late paper received by the board he quoted the words of a previous board: "I am a high risk offender and danger to the community".

Advertisement

The board noted he had graduated from the 33-week special treatment unit rehabilitation programme, and was preparing a relapse prevention plan.

He was also to be completing a drug treatment programme, and had expressed interest in a residential programme on release.

If he were accepted for addiction treatment at Auckland's Odyssey House, the board urged him to "get on and do that".

He had had the benefit of a "lengthy and serious intervention in prison", the board said.

Under his release conditions, which will apply for six months from his release, Laing must live at an approved address, complete an alcohol and drug treatment programme, and must not possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs.

If a relapse is suspected, he must attend a psychological assessment and attend any treatment or counselling required by his probation officer.

Laing reoffended in 2012 just a short time after being released from prison on another drink-driving offence.

He also has seven convictions for dangerous driving, including three causing injuries to others.

Advertisement

Rebecca Williams from Alcohol Healthwatch told Newstalk ZB the law needed to do more to address alcohol-related problems..

"It's very difficult talking after the fact with people who have been drink driving for many many years, it's a very tough nut to crack. Talking about it going forward, that's where we need to make a difference in how we respond to people who are drink driving."

She said it was important to screen people early for alcohol problems and transfer those people into an alcohol treatment problem.

NZME. hm mb