After 19 drink-driving convictions, a man finally decided to change his ways when his young son asked him: "What happens if you kill me out on the road?"
The question made him stop drinking for 13 years until a funeral prompted a relapse, which led to William Michael Eynon, 65, pleading guilty to his 20th drink-driving charge since 1971 in Masterton District Court yesterday.
The most recent charge before yesterday's was in 2000, the court heard.
The police summary of facts read in court said that Eynon was stopped by police on September 28 about 4.10pm on State Highway 3 near Waverley in Taranaki, after he was clocked driving at 119kmh in a 100kmh zone.
A test showed he had 597 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.
Judge Chris Tuohy asked defence lawyer Ian Hard to explain the latest offending, given Eynon's unblemished record for the past 13 years.
"Between 1971 and 2000 he has 19 convictions, it indicates a very serious drink-driving problem. The last one, at least, put him in prison," Judge Tuohy said.
When Hard replied that his client had been "upset" after attending a funeral, Judge Tuohy said he did not want to hear excuses, but to try to help make sure it did not happen again.
Asked by Judge Tuohy if his drinking in September was a one-off, Eynon said it was and that he had not drunk since 2000.
"The reason I abstained from drinking was my son said to me, he was only a young kid: ‘What happens if you kill me out on the road?' . . . It was only a one-off."
Judge Tuohy responded: "But you could have one-off killed someone."
He said he would take into account the long gap between the offending, but would impose a "hefty" fine to bring home the seriousness of repeated drink-driving.
He convicted Eynon, fined him $1000 plus court costs of $130, and disqualified him from driving for a year and a day.
- Fairfax Media