Drink-driving defence fails

19:14, Nov 22 2012

A lawyer who specialises in drink-driving matters mounted an unsuccessful defence for a man in Timaru District Court yesterday.

Rotorua lawyer Brett Cooper represented 58-year-old Waimate man Murray James Ludemann on his drink-driving charge. Ludemann recorded 130 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - 50mg above the legal limit - on February 4.

Timaru police gave evidence that Ludemann drove into the BP Showgrounds service station after 10.30pm.

Police were directed there and saw his car parked askew on the forecourt and Ludemann was inside the station. Two officers approached him and Ludemann admitted he had drunk wine at a party in Ashburton and was returning home to Waimate.

The constable asked Ludemann to step outside to the forecourt to take an initial screening test, which he failed. He was asked to go with him to the police station, where a blood specimen was taken.

Mr Cooper argued the constable did not have the authority to ask Ludemann to go out to the forecourt, and he questioned the manner in which the blood specimen was obtained.

Judge Joanna Maze did not consider going to the forecourt a considerable departure and said the submission failed. Ludemann was fined $700 and given a six-month driving ban.


The Timaru Herald