Drink-driver's jailed after sixth conviction

23:00, Dec 17 2013

A woman caught drink-driving for the sixth time has been jailed for six months in an effort to protect herself and the public from her drinking.

Katie Marie Meehan, 45, of Palmerston North, had been caught drink-driving twice in 1987, and once in each of 1998, 2008 and 2011. On almost all of those occasions she was at least twice the legal limit for alcohol in her breath or blood.

On September 19 this year, she was parked in Rangitikei St, Palmerston North. She hit a parked car while reversing, but left without trying to find the owner. Police found her in Bourke St. She was taken to a police station and breath-tested. Her reading was 867 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg. Meehan later changed her tune, and pleaded guilty to the charge.

She was up for sentencing in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday and defence lawyer Mike Andrews said she had longstanding problems. She was an alcoholic, depressed, had been in bad relationships and had a cancer scare.

Judge Les Atkins said Meehan had received almost every kind of sentence possible except imprisonment, and nothing had worked.

"Every time you drink and drive, you put everyone at risk. You are the very kind of person who gives rise to grief and heartache in the community."

He said he was concerned about sending her to prison, but it was the right option. "It is owed to the community to take the final step of discouragement."

Meehan was also disqualified from driving for 15 months.


The Manawatu Standard