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Thirteen — unlucky for some.
Dale William Roland Robinson (49) would agree.
The Dunedin District Court heard the defendant who had 12 drink-driving convictions to his name on September 5 last year was worried about his friend’s level of intoxication as he drove them from Palmerston to Dunedin following a wood-cutting job.
Robinson, who had also been drinking, instructed his friend to pull over in Waikouaiti so he could take the wheel.
However, police had earlier received calls about the car swerving along State Highway 1 and cornering dangerously.
When they took up pursuit of the vehicle, it was Robinson in control and though his driving seemed up to scratch, they pulled him over.
The breathalyser told another story.
He gave a breath-alcohol level of 861mcg — more than three times the legal limit.
Robinson admitted to police he and his friend had been drinking excessively the night before, then drove to Palmerston to do the job having had minimal sleep.
They also "had a couple" while wood-cutting that morning, he revealed.
It was ironic, Judge Michael Crosbie said, that Robinson had made a bad decision thinking it was for the right reason.
The defendant’s last drink-driving conviction came in 2016, the judge said, but there had been a steady accumulation since he first appeared in court 32 years ago.
Defence counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner said her client had put forward a Housing New Zealand home as a potential home-detention address.
However, the agency refused to provide consent, leaving Robinson out of options.
Judge Crosbie jailed the man for 10 months and banned him from driving for 28 days.
The alcohol-interlock regime would apply after that, he ruled.
Robinson was a hazard to those on the road, the judge said.
"The public would be saying enough’s enough."