Alcohol fumes irk judge

A judge told an Australian tourist charged with drink-driving in Queenstown he could smell the alcohol fumes from the Bench.

Peter James Berry (27), trade worker, of Ballarat, Victoria, appeared before Judge Tom Broardmore in the Queenstown District Court after recording a breath-alcohol level of 916mcg.

A concerned motorist contacted police about 4.20pm on August 18 after watching a car weaving in Frankton Rd, including across the centreline, as it headed towards Queenstown. Bottles were thrown from the car by one of its four occupants.

The caller followed the car for 5km until police arrived.

At sentencing yesterday, Judge Broadmore told Berry he could smell alcohol fumes, and suggested Berry seek counselling for a drinking problem.

Berry was convicted and fined $1200, with court costs $130, and disqualified from driving for six months.

In the event Berry was unable to pay the fine, he was told to reappear in court today - sober.

''You were driving with a skinful. You ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself,'' Judge Broadmore said.