Drunk driver threatens passengers

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014

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A drunk driver fleeing from police threatened to slit the throats of his passengers who were urging him to stop.

Terrence Debeer, 20, a New Plymouth gibstopper, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and refusing to give a blood specimen on December 7.

Debeer acknowledged he had a problem with alcohol, his lawyer said.

The pursuit began when police carrying out routine licence and alcohol checks on Beach Rd, New Plymouth, tried to get Debeer to pull over about 12.25am.

Debeer, who had two passengers, took off, reaching speeds of 94kmh in a 50kmh area.

On South Rd he headed into the opposite lane on a corner and came very close to colliding with an oncoming car, police said.

Because of the dangerous behaviour, police took the Nissan's registration number and pulled out of the chase.

When Debeer reached Herekawe Drive and again crossed the centre line, he lost control as another car came towards him.

His car skidded on the corner, hit the left-hand kerb and ended up on the footpath. As a result, the right-front wheel was damaged and he could not continue.

Debeer scarpered and his passengers told police they had told him to stop and pull over.

"In response the defendant told them if they did not stop talking he would slit their throats," the police summary states.

When Debeer returned to the car shortly after he denied he was driving and, when arrested, refused to have a blood test.

Community magistrate Robyn Paterson warned Debeer, who already had a list of driving offences, he was "heading for a big fall" if he continued to offend.

His car, being paid for by his father, was confiscated and he was sentenced to 140 hours' community work and six months' supervision. He was also ordered to undertake a drug and alcohol programme and was disqualified from driving for a year, to be followed by a three-year zero-alcohol licence.

The public was over drivers not stopping for police, the magistrate said, fining him $250 with $130 court costs for failing to stop.

"It's time for you to wake up and grow up. Do it or the court will do it for you."

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