Pregnant, driving, twice legal limit

Last updated 14:42 05/02/2013

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A pregnant Picton woman admitted drink-driving at more than twice the legal limit while on her learner's licence.

Crystal Marie Slade, 28, unemployed, of Waikawa, was sentenced in the Blenheim District Court yesterday after earlier admitting a charge of driving with a breath alcohol level of 978mcg (legal limit 400mcg).

She also admitted four separate charges of breaching her learner licence conditions.

Judge Denys Barry disqualified Slade from driving for eight months, sentenced her to 12 months' supervision and six weeks' community detention.

Judge Barry said Slade was caught drink-driving in Picton about 1.40am on November 18 and he would have sentenced her to a longer community detention sentence except for the fact she was pregnant and the sole caregiver to her five young children and had a positive probation report.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said Slade had also been stopped 11 times for breaching her learner's licence conditions before she was stopped and charged for driving unaccompanied and without L plates on January 11 and 29.

Defence lawyer Bryony Millar said a probation report found Slade did not have ongoing alcohol issues, but was going through some personal difficulties at the time she offended and assessed she was a low risk of reoffending.

Judge Barry said the report also showed Slade understood the risk she had put people in.

Also in court on drink-driving charges:

Tane Brent Malcolm, 38, a chef, of Springlands, admitted refusing to give a blood sample, his third offence, and careless driving and was sentenced to nine months' supervision, disqualified from driving for one year and one day and ordered to complete 60 hours' community work. Mr Harris said police were called after Malcolm was trapped in his car when he crashed into a bank on Port Underwood Rd about 10.30pm on January 19. Malcolm refused to do a breath test at the crash site or the Picton police station, but agreed to do a blood test at Wairau Hospital, he said. However, when they arrived at the hospital, Malcolm refused the test, he said. Defence lawyer Kent Arnott said it had been 15 years since Malcolm's last conviction and he had good references from his employers at Wairau River Wines. Malcolm accepted he had a problem with alcohol and had sought counselling for his alcohol use, he said.

Margaret Annette Hillis, 47, of Picton, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 771mcg and was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for six months. Mr Harris said Hillis told police she had drunk one glass of vodka and one of beer. Defence lawyer Philip Watson said Hillis had never been in trouble before and had made an error in judgment after having a couple of drinks while visiting some friends in Blenheim. Judge Barry said Hillis was just short of being double the legal limit, but it was her first conviction.

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Richard Alexander Hayward, 37, a slaughterer, of Redwoodtown, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 691mcg in Maxwell Rd on January 20 and was fined $700 and disqualified for six months. Judge Barry said while Hayward was almost twice the legal limit it was his first drink-driving offence.

Hakan Aslankilinc, 44, a bar manager, of Blenheim, admitted driving with a breath alcohol level of 534mcg and was fined $550 and disqualified for six months. Mr Watson said Aslankilinc was tired and made a mistake thinking he would not be over the limit.

- The Marlborough Express

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