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Drink-driver was twice over limit

Last updated 13:56 27/11/2012

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A drink-driver on his restricted licence was more than twice the legal limit, was driving a car with no warrant and no registration and was not wearing a seatbelt when he was caught, police say.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said in Blenheim District Court yesterday that police stopped Damian William Topi because he was driving erratically about 10pm on Sunday on Nelson St, in Blenheim. When he was stopped he was not wearing a seatbelt and his car had been unwarranted and unregistered since 2009, Mr Harris said.

Topi, 28, a builder of Islington, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 870mcg (legal limit 400mcg) when he appeared in court yesterday. He was sentenced to 100 hours' community work, six months' supervision to complete drug and alcohol counselling and disqualified from driving for nine months.

Topi told police he was driving because his friend was too drunk to drive, Mr Harris said.

Defence lawyer Philip Watson said the pair had been at a work function.

Also appearing on drink-driving charges yesterday:

Shannon Christian Hayes, 23, a boat builder, of Waikawa, admitted excess breath alcohol of 683mcg, his second drink-driving offence. He was sentenced to 100 hours' community work, six months' supervision for alcohol and drug counselling and disqualified from driving for nine months.

Judge Russell ordered that Hayes would be subject to a zero alcohol limit licence for three years when he got his licence back.

Mr Harris said Hayes told police he had been drinking at a nearby pub when he was stopped about 11.40pm on November 16.

Defence lawyer Kent Arnott said Hayes' previous conviction was from 2008.

Michael Brian Willis, 31, a labourer of Picton admitted excess breath alcohol of 748mcg after being stopped at a breath screening checkpoint on November 18. He was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Judge Russell said Willis was on a sentence of supervision.

Matthew John Fenneman, 31, of Picton, admitted excess breath alcohol of 682mcg and was fined $700 and disqualified from driving for six months. Mr Harris said Fenneman admitted drinking when he was stopped about 9.55am on October 27.

Jason Douglas Patterson, 20, of Redwoodtown, admitted excess breath alcohol of 477mcg on October 17 and was disqualified from driving for six months.

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- The Marlborough Express

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