Recidivist drink-driver warned

A judge has warned a recidivist drink-driver he could go to jail if he offends again.

Luke Henry Jones, 30, was stopped by police while driving in Arrow Junction Rd, near Arrowtown, about 7.30pm on July 27.

After the officer noticed he was showing signs of alcohol consumption, a breath-test gave a result of 185mcg.

A database check showed Jones was on a zero-alcohol licence as a result of a drink-driving conviction in Nelson about 18 months earlier.

At his sentencing in the Queenstown District Court on Monday on a charge of breaching a zero-alcohol licence, counsel Annaliese Carlaw said the defendant had drunk one bourbon before driving.

She asked for his disqualification period to be backdated because he relied on driving for his work as a fencer.

Judge Jane McMeeken said she doubted he had had only one drink.

The defendant’s actions were senseless given the importance of driving for his work, and yet he was asking for leniency in the period of disqualification

Noting it was his third conviction for drink-driving in the past five years, Judge McMeeken told Jones she could send him to jail.

"You have an alcohol problem.

"You should accept that you should never drink and drive at all," she said.

However, she had decided, by a "narrow margin", to impose a fine of $850. Jones was disqualified for 28 days, after which he can apply for an alcohol interlock licence.