Teacher’s repeat drink offence

A head of department at a Dunedin high school has added another drink-driving conviction to his ledger.

Eugene Nelson Shields, in charge of performing and visual arts at Otago Girls’ High School, chalked up his first excess breath alcohol in 2001.

And he was back before the court in 2008, according to Otago Daily Times archives, for "unlawful interference with the Macetown Historic Reserve" and was fined to the tune of $250.

The 46-year-old and two others rode motorcycles in the graveyard area of the reserve, an act that was prohibited.

Judge Kevin Phillips told the Dunedin District Court yesterday  Shields was in danger of becoming considered a "recidivist drink-driver".

"If you were to offend in this way again, there’s a possibility of going to prison," he said.

Shields was driving his BMW in Wharf St on November 24 when he was stopped at a checkpoint, Sergeant Chris George said.

He claimed to have consumed four pints of beer.

Shields produced a reading of 555mcg, more than twice the legal limit.

Duty lawyer Ann Leonard said the defendant had been playing in a golf competition earlier that day, had some drinks "and made the silly decision to drive home".

"He is extremely disappointed in himself," she said.

According to Shields’ LinkedIn profile, he has five years’ experience in leadership and middle-management positions.

He describes himself on the website as a "leader who reflects the values of the community and is able to motivate and inspire others in this direction".

The judge said he was surprised someone with such a record would take the risk of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Shields was fined $750, court costs $130 and banned from driving for eight months.

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