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'Frightening' level of alcohol

'Frightening' level of alcohol

A woman with a "very frightening" level of breath alcohol drove into a police checkpoint on her way home from a friend's birthday party.

Tessa Rose Kirdy, 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving when she appeared before Community Magistrate Sarah Steele in the Ashburton District Court on Tuesday.

Kirdy blew 1326 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath at a police checkpoint on River Terrace on March 17.

Duty Lawyer Gretchen Hart said Kirdy had been drinking every night since she was 16 and had a previous drink driving conviction in 2022 with a similarly high alcohol level.

Hart said Kirdy had joined Alcoholics Anonymous since the incident and was just a few days short of being free of alcohol for one month.

Magistrate Steele said Kirdy had been driving on a learner's licence for nine-and-a-half years and was driving unaccompanied at the time. She told police she was returning from a friend's birthday party.

The magistrate said she found the thought of someone behind the wheel at 1326mcg "very frightening" but gave Kirdy credit for the steps she'd taken to address her alcohol problem.

Kirdy was disqualified from driving for a year, fined $500 plus $130 in court costs and given a nine-month supervision sentence. After her disqualification ends, Kirdy will be on a zero-alcohol licence for three years.

Caught on New Year's Eve

2023 ended badly for Brooke-Lyn Carla Heke when she decided to drive after having a few beers.

The 24-year-old was stopped by police in Whangarei on December 31. She opted to have a blood alcohol test which returned a reading of 115 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Magistrate Steele said Heke had a previous drink driving conviction in 2021, which triggered an alcohol interlock sentence. This effectively means Heke can only drive with zero alcohol in her system for four years.

She was also fined $400, plus court costs of $130 and ordered to pay $215,34 reparation to cover the blood analysis.

Expensive trip for pizza

A young man's decision to drive to fetch pizza after having drinks in town turned out to be a costly mistake

Mason Tyla Bird, 19, blew 238mcg when he stopped short of an alcohol checkpoint on River Terrace and March 17. The legal limit for drivers under 20 is zero.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Bird had taken full responsibility and had referred himself for alcohol treatment.

Hart said Bird had a full licence and a clear demerit history. She asked the magistrate to consider backdating any disqualification to the date of the offence to reduce any effect disqualification would have on Bird's employer.

Bird was disqualified from driving for three months, backdated to March 17, and fined $240. The magistrate waived the court fees.

Second drink driving conviction

A few wines after the races ended in a second drink driving conviction for a West Melton man.

Malcolm Ivan Shinn, 74, was stopped on Bremners Road at 12.06am on December 15 last year after the police received a complaint about his erratic driving.

He blew 657mcg.

Duty lawyer Paul Norcross said Shin had one prior conviction with a relatively low alcohol level from 28 years ago. He asked the magistrate to treat Shinn as if it was his first offence.

Shinn was disqualified from driving for six months and fined $660 plus $130 in court costs.

Disqualified for moving car

A Hampstead man has been disqualified from driving and fined for moving his car to let another driver out of a driveway.

Dontae Mati Mamapo Misa, 18, had earlier admitted a charge of drink driving while on a learner's licence.

He blew 771mcg on Princes Street on September 30 last year.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Misa had been at a party with no intention to drive. However, when the police arrived he reversed to let another driver out the driveway and planned to park in the road.

He was pulled over by the police.

Hart said Misa had since obtained his licence and completed a defensive driving course.

Misa was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for six months. The magistrate backdated the disqualification to the date of Misa's guilty plea on October 26, 2003, and waived the court costs.

Drove to avoid a fight

A 21-year-old woman, who forgot to switch on her headlights when she decided to drive to avoid a fight, was caught drink driving.

Chloe Joyce Stannard blew 583mcg on East Street on March 12.

Lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Stannard had previously lived in a motel in emergency accommodation and had gone there to visit friends there.

A fight started and Stannard wanted to remove herself and decided to drive, Lorrigan-Innes said.

Stannard started drinking with her older step-brother at eight years old, when her mother was at work, and accepted she had a drinking problem, she said.

Stannard was disqualified from driving for seven months and will have to drive on a zero-alcohol licence for three years once she gets her licence back.

She was also sentenced to nine months' supervision to help her deal with any alcohol issues.

Driving while suspended

A 28-year-old woman who drove to escape abuse from her partner has admitted driving while suspended.

Juanita Mary Mitchell was stopped on August 12 on Railway Terrace and charged with driving while suspended.

Lawyer Grant Fletcher said Mitchell was driving to get away from her partner who had become abusive after drinking.

"She was in a situation that was potentially getting dangerous,” he said.

Fletcher said Mitchell had obtained her restricted licence but asked the magistrate to remand the case so that Mitchell could submit an affidavit.

She will appear again on June 11.

Drink driving conviction

An Irishman on work placement for his agricultural degree has landed a drink driving conviction.

John Thomas Crosse, 20, blew 600mcg in a breath test on March 24.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Crosse was on a four-month farm placement and would be returning to Ireland in May.

He had gone out for a meal and misjudged the amount that was safe to drink, she said.

Crosse was disqualified from driving for six months and fined $600. The magistrate waived the court costs.

Drink driving admitted

Lochlan Connor Deuart, 21, admitted a charge of drink driving.

He blew 541mcg when stopped by police on April 10 on Wakanui Road.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Deuart was at home and not intending to drive. However, friends called to ask him to pick them up thinking he was okay to drive.

Deuart will appear again on May 21.

Guilty plea

Michael John Hendry, 55, admitted driving while suspended on Elizabeth Avenue in Rakaia on March 8.

Lawyer Grant Fletcher asked the magistrate to withhold a conviction to allow for an application for a discharge without conviction.

Hendry will appear again on June 11.

Remanded for restorative justice

Thomas Ricky Russell, 36, admitted charges of careless driving and driving while forbidden.

He was remanded to allow for a possible restorative justice conference and will appear again on June 11.

Speeding charge

Donte Joshua Segar, 24, from Christchurch, pleaded guilty to a charge of speeding by letter.

His case was remanded to May 21 for sentencing after the police revealed Segar was alleged to be travelling at 160km/h in a 100km/h zone.

Charges withdrawn

Charges of wilful damage and intimidation against Malo Tautalafua, 29, were withdrawn after he successfully completed diversion.

Warrant issued

A warrant to arrest was issued for Manawa McGregor, 27 after she failed to appear in court on a drink driving charge. Police allege McGregor blew 543mcg in a breath test on Rakaia Highway on April 3.

By Sharon Davis