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A Dunedin law student and award-winning musician has been convicted of drink-driving after a late-night trip for fast food.
Livingstone Xavier Efu’s career has hit some high notes in the past couple of years, peaking in October last year when, along with singer Lani Alo, the 25-year-old won the prize for best Pacific song at the Pacific Music Awards.
The song Alo I Ou Faiva - which features a 50-second rap by Efu - reached No 4 in the Hot 20 NZ Singles chart in 2019.
The music video, large portions of which are set in Dunedin, has chalked up more than 2.5 million views on YouTube and 450,000 plays on Spotify.
After appearing before the Dunedin District Court yesterday where he admitted a charge of drink-driving, Efu was coy about his musical successes.
“I don’t really have a musical career,” he said.
“I was just helping out a friend."
Efu said he was not seeking to establish a reputation as a rapper and was currently in his first year at law school.
“It’s a hobby doing music,” he said.
Early on May 30, after drinking with friends, he made the ill-fated decision to follow his gut.
“I’m not a drinker. I don’t really drink that much. It was just that night,” Efu said.
“I literally had five bottles, I got hungry, I went to Maccas, I forgot to turn my lights on and they pulled me over.”
The defendant was taken to the police station where he recorded a breath-alcohol reading of 780mcg, more than three times the legal limit.
The court heard Efu had been missing family in Samoa at the time but he did not want to use that as an excuse for driving while drunk.
Judge Emma Smith acknowledged, by pleading guilty on his first appearance before the court, Efu was unequivocally “taking it on the chin”.
He was fined $500, ordered to pay court costs of $130 and disqualified from driving for six months.