Driver 'speeding out of respect for mate'

PALOMA MIGONE
Last updated 17:58 31/10/2012

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A 23-year-old Tauranga man caught allegedly drink driving told police he was speeding at 136kmh following his friend's funeral as a mark of respect.

The man was leaving the funeral of Shaun Hogarth when he was stopped by police near the Pyes Pa cemetery about 2.30pm yesterday.

Hogarth, 23, died after the boat he was in capsized off the Tauranga coast on October 16.

Sergeant Wayne Hunter said the man was caught travelling 36kmh over the limit on The Lakes bypass. 

When stopped, he allegedly blew 533 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, above the adult limit of 400 micrograms.

"He said he was doing it out of respect for Shaun. The last thing after the funeral, speeding as a mark of respect," Hunter said.

"If I hadn't have stopped him, I think we would have had a serious crash."

Hunter said the "little Mazda," which was carrying five people, had been flagged as unsafe only three days earlier. 

"The seat-belts wouldn't work and it hadn't been warranted since 2008.

"It could have ended badly."

The man is facing charges of drink driving and is due to appear in court on November 8.

Hunter said police were in the area because of complaints about boy racer-style cars driving around Mt Maunganui.

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