Driver nearly four times alcohol limit

A Queenstown building manager has his sixth conviction for drink-driving after being caught driving at nearly four times the legal limit.

Stephen Ian Summerhayes (50) admitted the charge when he appeared before Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

He was driving a work vehicle on Frankton Rd towards the resort’s town centre just before midnight on January 16 when he was stopped at a police checkpoint.

After failing a roadside breath test, he underwent an evidential test with a result of 976mcg. The legal limit is 250mcg.

He told police he had been drinking with work mates.

The defendant’s counsel, Alice Milne, said he had a managerial role that carried some responsibility, and recognised his behaviour was not in line with the "safety-first’’ aspect of his work.

It was his first drink-driving offence in nine years.

Judge Brandts-Giesen said the alcohol level was the highest of the six incidents for which he had been convicted.

"At that level, quite frankly, you’re a danger on the road."

Summerhayes said it was an isolated incident, and his binge-drinking days were a thing of the past.

He was fined $2000, which he must pay at $150 a week, and disqualified from driving for 28 days, with alcohol interlock and zero-alcohol licence provisions.

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