Refugee's homesickness leads to drink driving, court hears

Last updated 13:04 07/08/2014

Relevant offers

Crime

Mighty River Power employee accused of fraud described as a 'bully' Fiordland helicopter fuel theft 'could have claimed lives' Tourists' luggage containing family heirlooms stolen outside Auckland home Missing Wellington teen Tumanako Tawhaki may be in Palmerston North High Court jury finds Ahu Stanley Taylor guilty of the attempted murder of Kahu Vincent in Wanaka Man shot in Kaitaia drive-by, possibly gang-related Trio plead guilty to manslaughter of South Taranaki woman $2.3m fraud accused a 'blue collar worker who wanted to get on with job' Was Lower Hutt 210kmh boy racer's punishment enough? Woodend Beach rapists Isaac Jason Mould and Troy Matua McIver jailed

Homesickness is to blame for a Nepalese refugee being caught driving at more than three times the drink drive limit, a court has heard.

Harka Bahadur Rai, 25, pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court today to his third drink driving offence, as well as a charge of driving while disqualified.

He was driving a car on State Highway 56 near Palmerston North on June 22, and was seen swerving across the road.

At one stage he drove in the gravel off the left side of the road.

People saw his driving and called police, who caught up with him.

He admitted to drinking and blew a reading of 1235 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Defence lawyer Jacinda Younger said all of Rai's previous readings, for offences in 2011 and last year, were high.

One of those readings was 1356mcg.

A refugee from Nepal, Rai had New Zealand residency but had become homesick.

He had turned to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol to try sedate his homesickness, Younger said.

Judge Stephanie Edwards convicted Rai and remanded him on bail until next month for sentencing, with the conditions he does not drink or drive until then.

Ad Feedback

- Manawatu Standard

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content