Certificate renewed

A Wanaka woman convicted of drink-driving and failing to stop to ascertain injury after a crash in Wanaka last year has had her duty manager’s certificate renewed after she volunteered to take a 28-day suspension.

Michaela Poots told the District Licensing Committee in Queenstown  this week  she was "completely devastated" by the May 2016 incident in which her passenger sustained a dislocated shoulder.

She had nine years’ experience in the hospitality industry, eight of those working for her present employer, Peter Byrne, most recently at Lake Bar in Wanaka.

She told the committee  she was drinking at a private address last May and decided to  drive about 700m down the road to another private address but crashed her car.

She was  charged with drink-driving and failing to stop and  sentenced to community work, disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay almost $10,000 reparation.

After the incident she was stood down from her position as duty manager for a month, but the owners  continued to support her and she still worked for them. If her renewal application was declined, she would be unable to progress in the industry.

"I am willing to take a voluntary 28-day suspension," she said.

Judge Bill Unwin said on one hand it was a "very serious issue", but on the other  Miss Poots had had a "pretty tough time of all of this".

The police and the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s liquor licensing inspector were not opposed to Miss Poots’ certificate being renewed for 18 months, with the offer of a voluntary suspension also accepted.

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