Drink-driving teenagers get a rev up from a judge

Two teenagers who represented themselves in court on drink-driving charges have received a dressing down from a judge.

The pair appeared separately in front of Judge Gregory Ross in the Levin District Court yesterday.

Forestry worker Chanze Kerehi Asher was stopped by police at 1.40am on December 20 after he was seen driving in Oxford St, Levin, with no tail-lights. He recorded an alcohol reading of 596 micrograms per litre of breath.

Judge Ross asked Asher what he had to say for himself and the 19-year-old mumbled a reply.

The judge asked if he had heard the question, to which Asher responded he was "just not good at talking". Judge Ross then asked Asher if he had now changed his ways after being caught drink-driving.

"Yes, I have," Asher said.

"In what way?" asked Judge Ross.

"Um, I'm not sure," said Asher.

"I want to know why you were out late at night after you've consumed alcohol, with a fault in the vehicle," Judge Ross said.

"Uh, uh," Asher replied.

"Uh, uh what?" said Judge Ross.

"It was a bad decision," said Asher.

"It was," the judge said.

Judge Ross said this was Asher's second drink-driving conviction, which made the matter more serious.

Asher had recorded a breath-alcohol reading 1 times the adult limit when, as someone under 20, his limit was zero.

He fined Asher, sentenced him to six months' supervision, disqualified him from driving for eight months and barred him from owning a motor vehicle for 12 months.

Earlier in the morning Brodie Samuels Lewis had told Judge Ross he had no explanation for why he was driving at 12.15am on January 4 when police stopped him in Liverpool St, Levin.

Lewis, who recorded a reading of 323mcg, told the judge he knew he was not allowed to drink.

"Well, you're not allowed to drink before you drive," Judge Ross said. "How old are you?"

Lewis said he was 17.

"Where did you get the alcohol from?" Judge Ross said.

"Home," replied Lewis. He was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for three months.

Manawatu Standard