Heavy penalty for third drink-drive offence

A judge has told a recidivist drink-driver he needed a stiff sentence as a ‘‘strong deterrent’’ to himself and the public.

Mukund Shivaling Basarge (33), of Cromwell, admitted a charge of drink-driving when he appeared in the Queenstown District Court before Judge Kevin Phillips yesterday.

It was Basarge’s third conviction after also being caught drunk behind the wheel in 2009 and 2013.

On October 12, after drinking six bottles of beer over five hours, he was stopped at a police checkpoint on Frankton Rd.

After a breath-alcohol test gave a reading of 481mcg, he elected to give a blood sample, but that came back with a result of 100mg — twice the legal limit.

A conviction for a third drink-driving conviction carries a maximum sentence of two years’ prison and/or a $6000 fine, and a minimum disqualification period of 12 months.

Judge Phillips said Basarge had driven while drunk despite knowing from previous experience the potential consequences of doing so.

He sentenced him to nine months’ supervision to allow intervention for alcohol issues, ordered him to perform 200 hours’ community work, and disqualified him from driving for 13 months.

He must also pay blood analysis fees of $511.25.