Engineer found not guilty of drink-driving

An engineer has been found not guilty of drink-driving after he was found by police alone in the driver's seat of a car with the motor still warm.

Christopher James Phillips, 44, engineer, was charged with driving with a breath alcohol level of 695mcg and driving while disqualified on February 28.

He was found in a car in McDonnell Rd, 11.5km from the Gibbston Tavern, by police after an anonymous call from a woman.

In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Phillips' friend Glenda Ramsay said she drove Phillips to the tavern so he could watch the rugby and waited in the car.

On the return trip to Arrowtown, an argument started and Ramsay pulled over to get out of the car. When the argument continued, she decided to walk to towards Arrowtown and left Phillips at the car, where police found him.

Judge Christina Cook said it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt Phillips had driven from the tavern and dismissed the charges.

Driving while disqualified

Michael Kanara, 41, labourer, of Lake Hawea, was sentenced to 90 hours' community work for driving while disqualified on November 2. Kanara already had 10 previous convictions for driving while disqualified, between 1989 and 1999.

The Southland Times