Drink-driver told to use supervision for own good

Last updated 08:36 20/11/2012

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A judge told a drink-driver not to think about his sentence in terms of how many months' supervision imposed but by how much he could benefit from it.

Angus Jesse Faulkner Bruce-Mackenzie, 21, vineyard worker, of Blenheim, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 502 micrograms and driving without a licence when he appeared in Blenheim District Court yesterday.

Defence lawyer Philip Watson said Bruce-Mackenzie had drunk two beers and misjudged whether he was fit to drive when he was stopped by police about 4.30am on October 20. He had lost his licence because of excess demerit points and had misunderstood what was required to get it back, Mr Watson said.

Judge John Walker sentenced Bruce-Mackenzie to 12 months' supervision and disqualified him from driving for six months after a report by Wairau Drug Addiction Services recommended supervision to deal with Bruce-Mackenzie's alcohol problems. Bruce-Mackenzie asked for the supervision sentence to be for six months but Judge Walker told him the sentence was designed to help him.

"It's not a sentence that should be counted in months, but in terms of ‘how much am I getting out of this'. It's a sentence that's designed to make things better and to stop you coming to court.

Also appearing in court on drink-driving charges yesterday:

Matias Ezequiel Rodriguez, 23, vineyard worker, Blenheim, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 550mcg and was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for six months. Prosecutor Mark Lucas said Rodriguez was stopped by police in High St about 1.20am on November 10. Lawyer Philip Watson said Rodriguez had a working visa from Argentina, where he had also faced a charge of drink-driving.

Megan Hadfield, 28, teacher, of Blenheim, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 494mcg and was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for six months. Mr Lucas said Hadfield admitted having several drinks when she was stopped by police about 3.30am on November 3 in Scott St.

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- The Marlborough Express

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