Jail sentences given to recidivist drink-drivers

A Taranaki judge offered little mercy to recidivist drink drivers in the Hawera District Court yesterday, jailing two and giving another a slim chance to avoid a similar fate.

Billy-Joe Adam Healy, 30, was sentenced to a year behind bars for driving drunk for the sixth time in 12 years and two counts of driving while disqualified.

On October 17, Healy was caught by police on Tangahoe Valley Rd with a breath-alcohol reading of 815mcg, more than twice the legal limit of 400mcg.

He was disqualified from driving indefinitely at the time.

Defence lawyer Kelly Marriner said Healy accepted his wrongdoing and now knew the risk he posed to the public.

She said Healy realised he couldn't stop at just one drink and needed to take a "zero tolerance" approach.

Judge Allan Roberts said Healy had been given every opportunity to curb his behaviour. He was also disqualified from driving for a year.

Jason Paul Gallyer, 45, was jailed for four and a half months' after driving over the limit for the sixth time in 25 years. Gallyer, of Eltham, had earlier pleaded guilty.

On October 6, he was stopped by police a short distance from an Opunake home he was drinking at. He blew 1049mcg.

Through defence lawyer Grant Vosseler, Gallyer said he was driving to a friend's garage to secure his car after a sober driver had let him down.

This didn't wash with Judge Roberts, who said he heard that excuse a lot.

Gallyer was also disqualified from driving for a year.

Dion William Gardiner, 26, could avoid jail if he graduates from a rehabilitation course.

The Patea man was convicted of drink driving for the fourth time after he blew 1039mcg of alcohol per litre of breath on October 26.

Judge Allan Roberts said once Gardiner completed the Bridge Programme he would consider an electronically monitored sentence. But if he walked out, or was kicked out of the programme he would go to jail for at least 10 months.

Taranaki Daily News