A woman caught drink-driving with an alcohol level that would have killed many people has been given home detention.
Lynda Anne Marie Cameron, 54, had admitted two charges of repeat drink-driving - her third and fourth convictions - and driving while her licence was suspended.
She was caught drink-driving twice in April, recording levels of 1910 micrograms of alcohol to a litre of breath on April 16, and 1470mcg three days later.
Christchurch District Court Judge Phillip Moran said the first level was "the highest I have ever seen in my experience and I have been a judge for more than 20 years".
"Many people would have been dead at that level, but you are an alcoholic and you have developed a resistance to alcohol," he said.
Defence counsel Ros Burnside argued for the home detention sentence and convinced the judge it would be possible for Cameron to live at home because of the advances she had made under treatment.
Cameron had been an alcoholic for 10 years and had mental health issues dating back 35 years.
Burnside asked for final name suppression because although Cameron's mental state was much better, it remained fragile.
She feared that being named in the media, or approached by reporters, would "unleash another drinking episode".
Judge Moran refused final suppression, saying the charges were serious.
"I don't think there is any real prospect of you being driven to desperate measures by seeing your name published in the paper," he said.
From the dock, Cameron denied a newspaper report that she had been so drunk she was seen sitting in her car's passenger seat trying to start the car with her house key in the glovebox.
Cameron will serve her 12-month home detention sentence in St Albans while she attends alcohol rehabilitation counselling and treatment courses provided by the City Mission.
For the past four and a half months she had been undergoing treatment as a resident at Elmtree Lodge, but she could not continue to stay there on home detention.
The judge disqualified her from driving indefinitely.
Her Mercedes has been confiscated for the repeat offending.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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