Drink-driver fell asleep, hit pole

Lemanu Filifili was driving his mother’s car following after-work beers when he crashed in...
Lemanu Filifili was driving his mother’s car following after-work beers when he crashed in Eglinton Rd. PHOTO: NZ POLICE
A drink-driver who fell asleep and slammed into a power pole has been told he was lucky he did not hit a person.

Lemanu Kene James Filifili (21), a forklift driver, had dropped off a mate on July 5 and was heading home just before 2am in his mother’s car.

He was jolted awake when he hit the power pole in Eglinton Rd.

The force of the collision was such that it brought the post crashing down on to his vehicle, yet he emerged unscathed.

“The combination of fatigue and alcohol on board meant you were a considerable danger to yourself and anyone else on the road,” community magistrate Simon Heale said.

“You are very fortunate it was a power pole and not a person you struck,” Mr Heale said.

Counsel Deborah Henderson said it was her client’s first time before the court, and stressed that he remained at the scene and was co-operative with police.

Filifili failed a breath-alcohol test and requested a blood test, which he also failed.

Analysis of the sample showed a blood-alcohol level of 157mg.

The legal limit is 50mg.

Filifili told police he had been working hard all week and had wanted a beer.

“There is no problem with having a beer after you’ve been working hard — the problem is getting into a vehicle,” Mr Heale said.

Filifili was fined $800 and ordered to pay $130 court costs and $112 for blood analysis.

He was banned from driving for eight months.

There was no information about the cost of the damage he caused, so no reparation could be ordered by the magistrate.

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