Judge wants freeze on chilly bin antics

A District Court judge has asked if drunken joyrides on motorised chilly bins is a Central Otago problem before calling for an end to them.

The Alexandra District Court today heard a second case of this kind little more than a year.

Anna Lea Pilgrim (40), a car groomer business owner, of Alexandra, faced a charge of drink-driving when she appeared in court before Judge John MacDonald.

However, it was her choice of vehicle - a motorised chilly bin - which she drove with an excess breath alcohol of 894 micrograms that raised eyebrows across the room. The legal limit is 250mcg.

Birthday celebrations proved her undoing.

Pilgrim was stationary when she was stopped by police on May 9 this year after riding the chilly bin on the roadside, next to the curb on Alexandra’s Clutha St.

She was instantly disqualified from driving for 28 days.

Judge MacDonald was wry in his assessment of the case.

``I don't want to see any more about motorised chilly bins. Is this a Central Otago problem?''

Defence lawyer Megan McCrostie acknowledged that, in normal circumstances, the defendant would be considered for an interlock licence.

However, she asked Judge MacDonald to consider a lesser penalty due to a range of factors, including the fact she travelled less than 100 metres and would have been going at a speed of between 5-10kmh.

Judge MacDonald took into consideration Pilgrim had no previous convictions and would need to drive to continue her business effectively.

He said an interlock licence would outweigh the gravity of the offending, but noted the level of alcohol was high and should not be downplayed.

Pilgrim was discharged without conviction, disqualified for a further month and was ordered to pay a donation to a charity of her choice.

Her escapade comes after Southland truck driver Daniel William Hurley was convicted of similar offending last year and fined $700.

His chilly bin antics took place in a Cromwell car park while he had an alcohol level of 540mcg.

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