A young Invercargill woman was discharged without conviction for drink-driving by Community Magistrate Simon Heale in Queenstown yesterday, when he found the consequences of a conviction were out of proportion with the offending.
Annebelle-Elyse Tehla Luscombe, who was 19 at the time of the offending, admitted driving with a breath-alcohol level of 400mcg in the resort on June 23.
The legal limit for anyone under 20 is zero.
Heale said police located her inside a vehicle with the lights on and engine running in the Pak'n Save car park, in Hawthorne Dr, just after 2am.
She stated she had earlier been contacted by her boyfriend, who was concerned about a position in which he found himself.
She located him, drove to pick him up and then went to the car park.
Luscombe said she had been there for about 90 minutes before police arrived.
Police were neutral on the discharge application.
Heale said while an aggravating factor was the level, which put her offending in the moderately serious category, there were numerous mitigating factors, including her age, lack of prior convictions, that there was no driving fault and her actions were not premeditated.
The conviction itself was the most serious consequence, given it would impact her ability to apply for a manager's certificate for two years and might affect future employment prospects and travel.
While Heale agreed to grant the discharge, Luscombe was disqualified from driving for three months.