Drink-driving conviction may cost soldier his job

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 09:18 28/05/2014

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A Linton-based soldier is likely to lose his job due to being caught at more than twice the drink-drive limit after sinking some beers at the Tui Brewery.

Christopher Ballantyne Jefferies was driving in Palmerston North when pulled over by police on the afternoon of April 4.

The 22-year-old soldier took a blood test and returned a reading of 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

He told police he had been drinking at the Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka - a half-hour drive from Palmerston North - earlier that day.

In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Jefferies pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Duty lawyer Mark Alderdice said it was Jefferies' second drink-drive conviction, which would have a severe impact beyond any punishment the court could give.

"He was on his final warning because of a previous conviction last year. His future prospects as they stand are most certainly unemployment."

Jefferies' relationship with his partner had also suffered due to his drinking, and he had sought help for his problem, Alderdice said.

Judge Gregory Ross said it was well known to military members that one conviction was usually tolerated, but a second conviction would create problems.

Jefferies' second conviction had come just weeks after he got his driver's licence back.

The judge sentenced him to 70 hours' community work, nine months' supervision, and disqualified him from driving for nine months.

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- Manawatu Standard

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