A Stratford man caught driving more than three times over the legal alcohol limit on Anzac Day has avoided the expense of an interlock device but has received a $700 fine.
Joel Connelly (26) appeared in Hāwera District Court today before Judge Garry Barkle.
The court heard Connelly blew 799 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath when police stopped him on Miranda Street last Thursday morning. The legal limit is 250mcg.
Connelly was also in breach of his license conditions as he holds a learner license, requiring him to drive only when there is a supervisor in the car.
The police summary of facts stated Connelly drove his car along Miranda Street, through a coned road block which was manned by traffic management staff.
The town's Anzac Day dawn service was underway at the time.
"Police attempted to wave the dedendant down to stop, however he continued on and drove towards the crowd," the summary of facts stated.
As Connelly got closer to the crowd he slowed his vehicle and avoided driving into the crowd.
According to the summary of facts, Connelly told police he had wanted to "pick up my mate from the Anzac parade and get some petrol for the car".
Defence lawyer Neal Harding told the court his client could remember being at the petrol station but not much else.
In disqualifying Connelly from driving for seven months, and ordering him to pay a fine of $700 at $50 a week, Judge Garry Barkle noted the defendant was just 1mcg short of having blown 800mcg. Last July, alcohol interlock devices became compulsory for repeat drink-drivers or for those who registered a breath test reading higher than 800mcg
Last July, alcohol interlock devices became compulsory for repeat drink-drivers or for those who registered a breath test reading higher than 800 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.