Prison for drink driver with 'appalling' history

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014

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A man caught drink driving soon after being sentenced for shoplifting a cask of wine has been jailed.

Jason Alexander Knox, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of drink driving and driving while disqualified when he last appeared in the Hawera District Court.

On July 15, after being sentenced for shoplifting, Knox was seen by police driving away from court.

He was stopped by police on High St and found to have a breath alcohol level of 916 micrograms, the legal limit is 400mcg.

Knox was arrested at the scene and also charged with driving while disqualified. He had not held a driver's licence since being indefinitely disqualified in 1997.

When he re-appeared for sentence yesterday, Knox's lawyer Rajan Rai said although his client was surprised he was over the limit, he knew he had an alcohol problem.

"It is undeniable there is an issue with alcohol in this defendant's life," Rai said.

Judge Max Courtney said Knox now had 12 convictions each for drink-driving and driving while disqualified.

"You have an appalling drink-driving history which goes back to 1990," he said.

He said although Knox's last conviction was in 2012 all of his previous drink drive readings had also been high.

Courtney said despite Knox's claims that he had stopped drinking the night before court, he should have been aware of the risk he posed to the community if he got behind the wheel.

Courtney sentenced Knox to 14 months' imprisonment on both charges and disqualified him from driving for one year and one day.

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