Drink-driver who caused injury sentenced

Last updated 05:00 15/07/2014

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A 19-year-old man was sentenced to community detention, community work and supervision after he drink-drove causing injury, then drove at more than twice the legal limit while on bail on that charge.

In the Blenheim District Court yesterday, Judge Richard Russell said Brendan Thoms, of Blenheim, was involved in a car crash in Waihopai Valley Rd on February 16. His two passengers were taken to hospital after he swerved to avoid an oncoming car, which was on his side of the road, and lost control.

He rolled his truck before it came to land on its wheels and one of his passengers suffered a concussion, while the other suffered a fractured vertebrae.

Breath tests showed Thoms had a breath alcohol level of 448 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

While he was on bail for the charge of drink-driving causing injury charge, he drove over the limit again, on May 9, with a breath alcohol level of 871mcg.

Thoms had a prior conviction for drink-driving and should have had no alcohol in his system on both occasions, the judge said.

"Two people have been seriously hurt. Had you not had any alcohol in your system this accident may well have been avoided completely. If one of your passengers had been killed you would have been heading towards a jail sentence today."

It defied belief that Thoms had driven at more than twice the legal limit while on bail for the first charge, Russell said.

Thoms was sentenced to five months' community detention, six months' supervision and 150 hours' community work on each charge. He was indefinitely disqualified from driving and was to apply for a zero-alcohol licence when the disqualification ended.

He had a further 100 hours' of community work added to his sentence in lieu of more than $5000 in fines.

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- The Marlborough Express

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