A teenage drink-driver was caught after doing a 10-metre slide in front of a police car.
In Blenheim District Court yesterday, Steven Lewis Ranstead, 19, a logging contractor of Spring Creek, admitted charges of excess breath alcohol of 780mcg (legal limit 400mcg) and sustained loss of traction and was fined $1100 plus court costs, disqualified from driving for nine months and sentenced to six months' supervision to undergo drug and alcohol counselling.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Lucas said officers in a police car watched as Ranstead skidded round the corner from Rapaura Rd on to State Highway 1 at Spring Creek about 5.30am on August 19. The slide left skidmarks 10 metres long on the road.
When the police officer pulled Ranstead up he said he was surprised to see them there at that time. He admitted that he had been drinking and said he always did burnouts there, Mr Lucas said.
Defence lawyer Bryony Millar said it was Ranstead's first appearance on a driving related charge, he had co-operated fully with police and indicated he thought he would benefit from alcohol counselling.
Judge Richard Russell warned Ranstead things could have been much worse. "This is how serious accidents where people are injured and killed happen. You were almost twice the legal limit, leaving tyre marks 10 metres long on the road, you were just simply a menace to anyone who might have been on the road at that time."
Vaea Samasoni, 20, a vineyard worker, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 602mcg and sustained loss of traction and was sentenced to 120 hours' community work, disqualified from driving for 10 months and ordered to pay reparation of $1342.
The charges stemmed from two separate incidents.
The court was told the first happened on August 12 when Samasoni drove a black BMW into the car park at Lansdowne Park and began doing burnouts, spraying gravel and causing noise, which led neighbours to phone police.
As he was leaving he drove into a lamp-post causing $1342 damage to the post. When police arrived he admitted being the driver of the car, which was not his.
On August 30 police stopped Samasoni in Picton, where he was found to be drink-driving.
Defence lawyer John Holdaway said Samasoni was remorseful for the incidents. In the first case he was being egged on by a friend.
- The Marlborough Express