Drink driver injures cousin

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 14:17 12/12/2012

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A Hamilton man drove drunk before crashing his vehicle, full of passengers, injuring his cousin.

The actions of Ben Kevin Pourau, 21, caused a serious spinal injury to his female cousin, who now hopes he never gets behind the wheel drunk again.

Pourau failed to negotiate a left hand bend on a Hamilton street just after midnight on July 14.

The car managed to miss two large trees but crashed into a fence, across a ditch before coming to rest 20m away.

Pourau blew 681mcg. The legal adult limit is 400mcg.

Pourau's counsel James Gernick said although the victim did not want to participate in a restorative justice conference, the pair saw each other weekly and were amicable, with him apologising on numerous occasions.

However, Mr Gernick said he was surprised Pourau's breath alcohol level wasn't higher, given the amount of alcohol he'd had.

Mr Gernick said Pourau didn't consider he had an alcohol problem.

"He's more of a binge drinker, he doesn't drink regularly, but when he does he drinks a lot.

"But that news did not impress Judge Denise Clark."That is problematic in my view  and you might need some professional support with that."

She was also unimpressed the vehicle Pourau was not registered or warranted.

Pourau was convicted on a charge of careless driving causing injury and sentenced to six months' supervision, 140 hours' community work, disqualified from driving for nine months and ordered to pay repairs to the fence of $350 and $200 emotional harm to his cousin.

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- Waikato

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