Driver admits almost killing husband
JONO GALUSZKA JONO.GALUSZKA@MSL.CO.NZ
A Palmerston North woman says she almost killed her husband when she ploughed her car into a neighbour's house after a night of drinking.
But while her husband got away with a broken leg, Cheryl Ann Robinson suffered serious abdominal injuries and nearly died her- self.
In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Robinson, 55, pleaded guilty to causing injury from driving with excess alcohol in her system.
Robinson and her husband had been drinking with relatives from about 6pm on February 21, when she went to bed at 9pm.
She woke up at 11.30pm and felt good enough to drive.
The couple of 39 years got into their car and Robinson started to drive.
But she failed to take a corner into Rose Place and smashed the car into a house.
The $5500 car was written off, Robinson's husband broke his femur and she had serious abdominal injuries.
They were both taken to Palmerston North Hospital, where Robinson's blood was tested for alcohol.
She returned a reading of 102 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
Defence lawyer Fergus Steedman said the two had been in a relationship since Robinson was 16 years old. She had accepted she nearly killed her husband, and could have died herself, he said.
She only drove because she thought she would be fine after having a nap and food.
Steedman said the house Robinson crashed into was directly opposite her own home, and repairs were still being made to it.
The financial fallout had been serious, he said.
The couple had lost $3000 in wages, their $5500 car had been written off and they still had not received a bill for the damage to their neighbour's house.
"They understand they are going to get a five-figure bill.
"She has paid a heavy price already."
Robinson had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder since the crash, but had also made positive changes in her life.
Steedman said she had given up smoking and had only had one glass of wine since the crash.
Judge Jennifer Binns said the incident must have been embarrassing, considering it happened near where Robinson lived.
The incident was serious due to the injuries and damage caused.
Robinson only had one previous conviction, for drink driving 18 years ago, but the level was more than 2 times the legal limit.
The judge said a fine would be inappropriate as the crime was too serious.
Robinson was sentenced to 120 hours' community work, nine months' supervision and disqualified from driving for 15 months.
- Manawatu Standard
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