Prison for repeat drink drivers

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 11:12 02/04/2014

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Two repeat drink drivers with a history of high readings were jailed in the Hawera District Court yesterday.

● Leith Eric Williams, 38, spray painter, appeared for sentence on one charge of driving while disqualified and one charge of drink driving.

According to the police summary of facts, Williams was stopped on Hawera's Albion St about 8.50pm on December 24 by police.

He was breath-tested and returned a result of 1051 micrograms per litre of breath.

The legal limit is 400mcg.Williams had been indefinitely disqualified from driving since July 2012 when he appeared in the Porirua District Court.

The defendant was convicted of drink driving in 1996, 2011 and 2012 with all readings in excess of 1000mcg.

Judge Allan Roberts said this conviction represented Williams' fourth for drink driving and sentences to date had not deterred him.

He said the offending was aggravated by his high level of intoxication and current disqualification.

Williams' was given a full concession for his guilty plea.Judge Roberts jailed Williams for four and a half months on the drink drive charge.

A sentence of one month's imprisonment was given on the driving while disqualified charge, which is to be served concurrently. Upon his re-application for a driver's licence, Williams will also be required to apply for a zero-alcohol licence, which lasts for three years.

● Gloria Awhina Tehuia, 28, from Hawera, appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to drink driving, driving while forbidden and providing false details during a court appearance in January.

About 2.20am on December 20, Tehuia was stopped on Little Regent St in Hawera.

Following a breath-testing procedure she returned a result of 1042mcg.

Lawyer Neal Harding said a sentence of home detention was appropriate for Tehuia, who had two previous drink drive convictions.

He said his client was supported by her family and also had sole care of her daughter.

Harding said there had also been a gap of six years since her last drink drive conviction.

Judge Roberts said Tehuia had been grossly intoxicated at the time of the offending and rejected her claim that she did not have a problem with alcohol.

''You most certainly do,'' the judge said.

Judge Roberts said her previous convictions for drink driving in 2005 and 2007 and other convictions for driving while forbidden and driving while disqualified were also a concern.

Both of her previous drink drive readings were in excess of 800mcg.

Tehuia was jailed for three months and disqualified from driving for one year and one day.

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A special release condition to attend alcohol counselling and treatment was also imposed.

- Taranaki Daily News

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