The death of a man who died face-down on his bed at his
Dunedin home after drinking more than five times the legal
limit has prompted a warning against drinking heavily while on
Beneficiary Christopher Short, 44, died of a cardiac arrest
at the North East Valley home he shared with his parents
while they were on a weekend holiday in their caravan last
Firefighters found Mr Short lying face-down after a neighbour
saw smoke and heard a fire alarm at the house.
The alarm was set off by a pot of meat which had burned out
on the stove, filling the house with non-lethal quantities of
Mr Short was found to have consumed more than five times the
legal limit of alcohol allowed for drivers.
He was also found to have taken standard doses of the drugs
diazepam, promethazine and citalopram, which had been
prescribed by his doctor.
Coroner David Crerar found Mr Short had consumed alcohol to
excess and taken his prescription drugs before putting a meal
on the stove.
He then went to his bedroom and collapsed or fell onto his
bed, where he died of a cardiac arrest.
Mr Short had a history of alcoholism, depression and suicide
attempts, but Coroner Crerar found his death was not
The coroner has warned against drinking heavily, particularly
in conjunction with medicines, either prescribed or not.