A chronic alcoholic who couldn't resist repeatedly getting
behind the wheel despite court orders has landed in jail.
Nicole Davidson, 49, appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei
District Court last week after earlier pleading guilty to two
charges of drink driving, two of driving while disqualified
and one of breach of bail.
Even an impassioned plea by her lawyer Kelly Ellis couldn't
convince Judge John McDonald who said public protection was
paramount in any sentencing.
Ms Ellis urged a sentence of home detention but the judge
said that wouldn't stop her from drinking and possibly
getting behind the wheel again.
There was only one police officer in Waipu where Davidson
lived and that the response time for a security company in
case of an emergency was 30 minutes, Judge McDonald said.
Davidson was stopped by police driving in Waipu on December
19, 2012 and tests revealed she had 468 micrograms of alcohol
in her breath. The legal limit for those over 20 years of age
She told police she was alcoholic and was trying to find a
place in a recovery centre without success. She was released
on bail with a condition that she was not to drive.
About 5.30pm on March 20 this year, she was again stopped in
Waipu and blood tests showed she had 171 milligrams of
alcohol per 100 millilitre of blood.
The legal limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood.
Judge McDonald said her blood level equated to 855mcg or
twice over the legal limit. There had been a vast amount of
publicity, he said, supported by scientific evidence on the
dangers of drink driving.
"Every person who's drink driving is playing Russian roulette
with innocent road users."
Davidson was convicted of drink driving in 2002 and twice in
2010 when she was sentenced to home detention and given a
final warning but she breached her sentence. She was again
twice convicted of the charge in 2012 and the sentencing
judge didn't invoke the final warning and again sentenced her
to four months' home detention.
Judge McDonald said Davidson would either drink herself to
death or kill someone on the road. He imposed a sentence of
14 months in jail.
- By Imran Ali of the Northern Advocate