"I regret that I have to take this step, but the safety of the community is the prime consideration here ...

"You are sentenced to six months' imprisonment."

That was the word from Judge Robert Spear when sentencing Gregory Mulligan in Whanganui District Court last week.

Mulligan, 49, was convicted on charges of driving with excess breath alcohol, being an unlicensed driver who failed to comply with prohibition and careless driving.


Judge Spear said that in January 2014, Mulligan was stopped in Marton by police and forbidden from driving until he obtained a driver's licence.

"However, you didn't apply for a licence and you didn't seek a licence. Instead, you drove a motor vehicle on the 10th of March this year in Whanganui and you were grossly intoxicated.

"You crashed your car into the back of someone else's car at about half past nine at night, but the road conditions were excellent."

Moderate damage was done to the car and police caught up with Mulligan following complaints made by the public.

"In explanation, you said that you didn't remember crashing the car, which again is evidence as to exactly how intoxicated you were," Judge Spear said.

"This is serious offending because of the level of intoxication, because of the fact that you were forbidden from driving and because you also had an accident."

Judge Spear said Mulligan had demonstrated that he is a recidivist offender in relation to drink-driving.

Mulligan's drink driving conviction in 2018 follows convictions for the same offence in 1988, 1995, 2005 and 2014.

"Here you are at 49 years of age, still drinking and driving at a time when you are grossly intoxicated.

"The focus of the court must be on public safety and you are someone who continues to present as a real danger on the road to other members of the public."

Judge Spear then sentenced Mulligan to six months' imprisonment and noted that he is indefinitely disqualified from driving or obtaining a driver's license.