Taxi driver fell asleep at wheel

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 13:32 27/05/2014

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A Christchurch taxi driver who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed has lost his job and faces a $28,000 car repair bill.

Liang Sun, 31, who failed a breath test, blamed a sleepless night looking after his two young children.  

Sun pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court today to driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dave Murray told the court that Sun fell asleep while driving on Brougham St about 11.30pm on May 10.  

His car mounted the centre line before hitting a street light, which broke off at the base. 

An evidential breath test returned a result of 483 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg/L.

Sun's defence lawyer said his client had found himself in a ''very sad situation''.

He was ''not a big drinker at all''.

He went to a film after drinking a few beers with friends and believed he could legally drive afterwards, the lawyer said.  

Sun, a taxi driver with no prior convictions, spent much of the previous night awake tending to his two young children after returning home from work.  

''The combination made him fall asleep,'' the lawyer said.  

''The good thing is no-one is hurt, the sad thing is he will lose his job.''  

The crash caused $28,000 worth of damage to the car, which was uninsured.

''He has an extreme level of remorse,'' his lawyer said.

Judge Jane Farish said Sun's alcohol level was ''modest'', but electing to drive when he was tired was ''foolish in the extreme''.

''The consequences for you are very big,'' she said.

Farish disqualified Sun from driving for six months and fined him $300.  

She convicted and discharged Sun on the careless driving charge.

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