Drink driver four times over limit

Last updated 08:04 24/07/2013

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A 43-year-old repeat drunk driver has been sentenced to nine months in prison after his latest "spectacularly high" breath test reading.

Unemployed Nelson man Brett David Ward was convicted of his sixth drink driving offence in the Nelson District Court .

Ward had driven through a police checkpoint on Parkers Rd last December where he was found to be nearly four times over the legal limit for breath alcohol, prosecutor Graeme Eden told the court.

Judge Tony Zohrab said Ward's 1472mcg reading was "spectacularly high", adding that "an ordinary person would have been comatose with a level like that, and wouldn't have even been able to find a car".

Defence lawyer Rob Ord said Ward clearly had some issues with alcohol. He argued that home detention was an appropriate sentence, but Judge Zohrab did not accept that.

He noted Ward's five previous convictions for drink driving, three of which were also at "very very high" levels, and said prison was the only appropriate sentence as Ward posed a risk to other members of the public.

Judge Zohrab said Ward was "grossly intoxicated and should not have been anywhere near a vehicle".

He sentenced Ward to serve nine months in prison, and ordered him to complete an alcohol and drug programme.

Ward was also indefinitely disqualified from holding a driver's licence. When he can re-apply he will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence for three years, like an under-20-year-old driver.

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