Crashed into bollard then drove into ditch

Breath-alcohol reading almost three times the legal limit

Breath-alcohol reading almost three times the legal limit

File picture

A driver’s breath-alcohol level was so high, it was almost “astronomic” when he ploughed into a bollard outside the tavern at Makaraka, Judge Charles Blackie said.

After hitting the bollard, Kerry Michael O’Rourke, 53, drove out on to the main road and crashed into a ditch.

He arranged for a friend to pick him up and fled the scene — but was caught by police soon afterward and returned a breath-alcohol reading of 1160mcg – almost three times the legal limit.

O’Rourke pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving with excess breath-alcohol for the third or subsequent time, his third. The most recent previous offence also involved a high reading (1016mcg).

Representing himself, O’Rourke said he was now having counselling for alcohol abuse and provided a letter to confirm it.

Judge Blackie said recidivist drink-drivers like O’Rourke caused about a third of the fatalities on New Zealand roads each year.

O’Rourke seemed to have woken up to the fact he had to do something about his drink-driving. Given that, community detention rather than a custodial sentence, could be imposed.

The judge sentenced O’Rourke to four months community detention, with a 7pm to 7.30am curfew, and 12 months supervision, to ensure he continued appropriate counselling.

O’Rourke said the vehicle he used was owned by a family trust. The trust will be issued a warning that the vehicle will be confiscated if O’Rourke uses it to reoffend.

He qualified for an alcohol interlock device, which he can apply to have installed in a vehicle after complying with a 28-day disqualification. He would have to use that interlock device for a specified period and thereafter he will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence for three years.

The charges arose in January. O’Rourke drove his car into the carpark area of the Roseland Tavern, where he collided with a large, white bollard. He then drove back out onto Main Road, Makaraka, losing control of his vehicle shortly after and crashing into a ditch.

He was breath-tested at the police station, after police found him with a friend who had picked him up.

A driver’s breath-alcohol level was so high, it was almost “astronomic” when he ploughed into a bollard outside the tavern at Makaraka, Judge Charles Blackie said.

After hitting the bollard, Kerry Michael O’Rourke, 53, drove out on to the main road and crashed into a ditch.

He arranged for a friend to pick him up and fled the scene — but was caught by police soon afterward and returned a breath-alcohol reading of 1160mcg – almost three times the legal limit.

O’Rourke pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving with excess breath-alcohol for the third or subsequent time, his third. The most recent previous offence also involved a high reading (1016mcg).

Representing himself, O’Rourke said he was now having counselling for alcohol abuse and provided a letter to confirm it.

Judge Blackie said recidivist drink-drivers like O’Rourke caused about a third of the fatalities on New Zealand roads each year.

O’Rourke seemed to have woken up to the fact he had to do something about his drink-driving. Given that, community detention rather than a custodial sentence, could be imposed.

The judge sentenced O’Rourke to four months community detention, with a 7pm to 7.30am curfew, and 12 months supervision, to ensure he continued appropriate counselling.

O’Rourke said the vehicle he used was owned by a family trust. The trust will be issued a warning that the vehicle will be confiscated if O’Rourke uses it to reoffend.

He qualified for an alcohol interlock device, which he can apply to have installed in a vehicle after complying with a 28-day disqualification. He would have to use that interlock device for a specified period and thereafter he will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence for three years.

The charges arose in January. O’Rourke drove his car into the carpark area of the Roseland Tavern, where he collided with a large, white bollard. He then drove back out onto Main Road, Makaraka, losing control of his vehicle shortly after and crashing into a ditch.

He was breath-tested at the police station, after police found him with a friend who had picked him up.

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