A Kaikoura man has been jailed for eight months after the latest in a string of drink-driving offences that span nearly three decades.
Peter Jordan, 69, admitted driving with excess breath-alcohol of 612 micrograms (the legal limit is 400mcg) and driving while disqualified, when he appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday.
It was the defendant's 19th drink-driving charge since 1986.
The court heard Jordan received 15 months in prison for his last drink-driving offence in 2009. He also had 16 convictions for driving while disqualified.
On the latest occasion, Jordan was stopped by police on December 23 in Silverdale, near Auckland, where he was living. He had since moved to Kaikoura.
Lawyer Rennie Gould said Jordan was working in a mechanic's workshop when a friend's car broke down about 80 metres away.
The friend drove Jordan to the car in a van and left him there.
Jordan worked on the vehicle for two hours before deciding to drive the van back to the workshop so he could access his tools.
Jordan had been drinking at work, Mrs Gould said. Subsequent police checks showed Jordan was also disqualified but Mrs Gould said this was not a case of a man flagrantly driving all the time.
Jordan had relocated to Kaikoura with no vehicle and no intention of driving, relying on his bicycle for transport, she said.
Judge Denys Barry said Jordan's probation report stated he had 22 other drink-driving convictions. "Whether it's 19 or 22 is neither here nor there," he said.
Previous prison sentences had no deterrent effect, he said.
"You have served four terms of imprisonment since 2006 which reinforces the fact that the message has not sunk in Mr Jordan.
"The bottom line is that if you drink and get behind the wheel of a car you will go to jail."
- The Marlborough Express