A Blenheim vineyard worker has been sent to prison after admitting his 13th drink-driving offence.
In Blenheim District Court yesterday Michael Scheidegger, 43, a vineyard worker of Blenheim, was sentenced after earlier admitting charges of eba 1322mcg a third or subsequent offence, driving while disqualified a third or subsequent offence and careless driving.
He was sentenced to 15 months' jail with special release conditions for six months to attend a residential programme for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
He was also indefinitely disqualified from driving and has to wait 18 months after his release before he can apply to get his licence back.
Judge Tony Zohrab said Scheidegger was caught when he drove into the back of a 71-year-old man's car while he was filling it up at a petrol station in Scott St about 12.40am on August 11. It was the ninth time Scheidegger had been caught drink-driving while disqualified, Judge Zohrab said.
Defence lawyer John Holdaway said Scheidegger had had an early start at work that day and had driven from his house to get away from people who had been partying there for several nights.
Scheidegger maintained he had accidentally driven into the back of the car, Mr Holdaway said, although the police summary of facts said he rammed it because he was frustrated with waiting.
Judge Zohrab said Scheidegger had been offered intervention for his alcohol issues after a previous term in prison, but he had attended only three counselling sessions and had not completed the drink-driving course ordered by the court.
Because of his history, a prison sentence was necessary, he said.
Mr Holdaway said Scheidegger did want help for his addiction and ordering the residential programme would ensure he complied.
- The Marlborough Express