Sentenced over fifth drink-drive conviction

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
When Samuel Mandega Mukundu crashed his car while downing beers, he knew he was going to be in trouble.

It would be the 41-year-old’s fifth drink-driving charge and his third in the past eight years, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Instead of waiting for police to arrive at the Riselaw Rd bridge where the wreck had occurred, he fled the scene and hailed a cab home to Momona.

The officers who attended the crash site found the abandoned Mazda and the beer cans left behind, and a brief check of the vehicle’s registration gave them Mukundu’s address.

The defendant was dropped off by the taxi to find police waiting outside his home.

Mukundu was unable to provide a sufficient breath sample and was transported to Dunedin Central police station to give a blood specimen, but when he complained of chest pains he was diverted to hospital.

While there, a sample was taken giving a blood-alcohol level of 186mg.

The legal limit is 50mg.

Judge Peter Rollo said Mukundu’s last two instances of drink-driving also came with “extraordinarily high levels” — both more than four times the limit.

Counsel Garth Cameron acknowledged from the outset that his client was in danger of being incarcerated because of his “terrible list of offending”.

The father of three lived on and operated a dairy farm (on a contract), where he employed two staff, he said.

Judge Rollo was impressed by the steps Mukundu had taken to address his alcohol issues and he received several letters of support from those close to the defendant.

The court heard the local Zimbabwean community was providing intensive assistance to the man and would continue to do so in the future.

The judge, however, stressed it was “serious offending”.

“You’re lucky you or any other person on the roads was not injured or killed by your driving,” he said.

Mukundu was sentenced to six months’ home detention and disqualified from driving for 28 days after which alcohol-interlock provisions would follow.

He was fined $500, court costs of $130 and ordered to pay $112 for his blood test.

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