Gore mum put family in danger

"If it wasn't for the actions of the officer stopping this person we could have been looking at another major tragedy on our roads".

This was the comment by Sergeant Clint Wright on a drink-driving case this month. He said police were extremely disappointed with Gore woman Suzanne King, 53, who takes her teenage granddaughter in the car when she has been drinking.

Speaking after the court case, Wright said King's actions showed she had no consideration for the safety of her own family members or the public.

The court was told when King drives drunk she asks her teenage granddaughter to be her passenger so she she can tell her what side of the road to drive on.

A breath-screening test revealed she had 1022mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

King's lawyer said there were two Suzanne King - "Mrs King the mum and Mrs King who has an alcohol problem".

Judge Christina Cook sentenced King to 275 hours' community work, six months' supervision and disqualified her from driving for 14 months.

A look through the southern district court lists show King is not the only southern driver to appear on their fifth drink-driving charge.

In April, Judge Cook said it was only by "simple good fortune" that Neil Hamlin, 41, of Orepuki, had not killed or injured someone after he failed to take a bend near Mataura. He had been driving with a breath alcohol level of 1357mcg and it was his fifth drink-driving charge.

The Southland Times