Drink-driver undone by cigarettes

Last updated 12:00 27/06/2014

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The following people appeared before Judge Gerard Lynch in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.

  • A Woodville farm worker could have avoided his third conviction for drink-driving if he did not whip out to pick up some cigarettes. Paul Michael Foley, 37, was caught driving in Woodville with a breath-alcohol reading of 953 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg. He told police he had drunk at least six bottles of beer, and was heading to get some cigarettes. He was remanded on bail until August for sentencing.
  • The judge refused to believe any of the excuses David Mark Panirau gave for how he ended up breaking the windscreen of his girlfriend's car. He was in the front passenger seat on May 1, and had been drinking. He got in an argument with his girlfriend, which resulted in him cracking her windscreen. He told police either a "stone or UFO" had done the damage. Duty lawyer Mike Ryan said Panirau now believed he was trying to grab a fly which was in the car and broke the windscreen like that. The judge said he rejected any explanation Panirau had given. He was sentenced to nine months' supervision and ordered to pay $425 in reparation.
  • Inability to take prescribed medication for back pain is the reason why a Feilding painter had 21 cannabis plants growing in his shed. Police found the plants on June 7 when they went to Scott Aaron Carr's address. They also found scraps of cannabis leaf on the ground. Carr told police he grew the cannabis for his own use. He had been given pills for his back pain, but he was unable to take them, he said. He was remanded until August for sentencing.
  • A Palmerston North woman seen crossing the centre line in the Manawatu Gorge multiple times turned out to be nearly triple the drink-drive limit. Members of the public called police after seeing Deborah Lee Punnett, 46, driving like that. She was stopped in Woodville and refused a breath test. She was taken to the Woodville police station, where she blew 1163mcg. She gave no reason for her actions. She was remanded until September for sentencing.

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- Manawatu Standard

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