Drink-driver tried to elude police

Last updated 07:30 18/12/2012

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A Picton drink-driver turned off his car lights and sped through the town to try to escape the police.

Penisimani Taakimoeaka, 24, meatworker, of Picton, admitted charges of driving with a breath alcohol level of 805mcg (legal limit 400mcg), dangerous driving and failing to stop for police. He was sentenced to 120 hours' community work and disqualified from driving for 11 months. He was also ordered not to own a car for one year and required to hold a zero-alcohol licence after his licence was returned.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said police spotted Taakimoeaka about 1.39am on Sunday, December 2, in High St, Picton, but when they turned their car to follow him he turned into Wellington St and then tried to speed away. During his drive to a property in Devon St, Taakimoeaka drove at speeds of up to 80kmh and also turned off his car lights. There were pedestrians coming out of Picton bars and making their way home at the time. Taakimoeaka told police he had gone out to buy cigarettes, Mr Harris said.

Defence lawyer Kent Arnott said Taakimoeaka told him he had panicked when he saw the police. He had one previous conviction for drink-driving, Mr Arnott said.

Also appearing on drink-drive charges yesterday:

Joshua Harley Wilson, 23, an engineer, of Kaituna, was sentenced to four months' community detention, six months' supervision to complete drug and alcohol counselling, and other counselling, after admitting driving with a breath alcohol level of 637mcg, a third or subsequent offence. He was also indefinitely disqualified from driving and ordered to hold a zero-alcohol licence when his licence was returned. A zero-alcohol licence lasts for three years and means a person cannot drink any alcohol and drive.

Stacey Maree Woller, 26, of Riversdale, was sentenced after earlier admitting driving with a breath alcohol level of 550mcg, a third or subsequent offence. She was sentenced to four months' community detention and nine months' supervision to complete drug and alcohol counselling and disqualified from driving for 13 months. She was also ordered not to own a car for one year and one day and to have a zero-alcohol licence.

Carlos Andres Espinoza, 30, of Blenheim admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 882mcg and was fined $650 and disqualified from driving for seven months.

Leon Robert Hosie, 36, a labourer of Witherlea, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 820mcg and was fined $750 and disqualified from driving for seven months.

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Toni Chardel Petley, 26, unemployed, of Blenheim admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 631mcg and was remanded for sentencing on February 11 on that charge and another charge of drink-driving this year, which was transferred from Nelson.

Garry James Thomson, 42, unemployed, of Renwick, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 493mcg and was fined $900 and disqualified from driving for one year and one day.

Philip Dawson Crawford, 48, a clerk of Waikawa admitted driving with a blood alcohol level of 190mg and was disqualified from driving for seven months.

Luka Velebit, 19, of Springlands, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 365mcg (legal limit for a person under 20 is 0mcg) and was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for three months.

Daniel Wayne Gale, 41, of Waikawa, denied driving with a breath alcohol level of 744mcg and was remanded to reappear in court on February 5.

- The Marlborough Express

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