Recidivist drink-driver given prison warning

A judge has described a 23-year-old Marlborough woman as a recidivist drink-driver while sentencing her for her fourth drink-driving conviction in four years.

In Blenheim District Court yesterday, Judge Richard Russell told Hayley Dawn Mortimer-Jones research showed that people like her "are responsible for the carnage that exists on New Zealand roads".

Mortimer-Jones, a waitress, of Wairau Valley, was sentenced to nine months' supervision for drug and alcohol treatment and other counselling, six months community detention and 150 hours' community work, and indefinitely disqualified from driving after previously admitting driving with a breath alcohol level of 593mcg, her fourth drink-driving offence.

Lawyer Rennie Gould said Mortimer-Jones had some serious personal issues and had been suffering from depression. Although she needed to be "severely punished" and given a significant warning she also needed help with her alcohol issues and being on the brink of imprisonment had shaken her up.

Judge Russell said he had seen a letter from Mortimer-Jones where she accepted she was a danger to other drivers and described herself as being "lazy" with her common sense.

However, a probation report said she might need residential treatment for her alcohol addiction . . . past sentences suggested she was not getting the message.

"You have got some personal issues but that is no comfort to anyone you might injure or kill. You do this again and you are on the verge of and almost certain to be sent to prison," Judge Russell said.

The Marlborough Express