Crashed into grader, but said partner was driver

An Invercargill woman who was drunk when she crashed into a grader tried to deceive police by saying she was the passenger.

In the Invercargill District Court on Tuesday, Judge John Brandts-Giesen said the crash happened at 12.10am on August 5 last year, when Rebecca Anne Jaeger-Oehlert (32), bar worker, of Invercargill, was driving on the Bluff Highway in Invercargill.

"At the time the road was under construction and the surface was gravel with lanes clearly defined by orange reflective cones."

He said Jaeger-Oehlert drove over six road cones before crashing into a parked grader.

The impact injured the passenger and Jaeger-Oehlert, and caused $7117.33 damage to the grader’s steering mechanism.

When police arrived, Jaeger-Oehlert was in the passenger side of the vehicle, clearly affected by alcohol.

"You stated you weren’t driving and that your partner was," Judge Brandts-Giesen said.

"A woman had seen you as the driver."

It was Jaeger-Oehlert’s fourth drink-driving charge, the last one eight years ago.

An aggravating feature was the defendant’s dishonesty at the time of the accident, he said.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Carmen Stewart said the public needed to be protected.

"What people need here is to be safe behind the wheel when she is behind the wheel," she said.

For careless driving causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of 203mg, Jaeger-Oehlert was sentenced to three months’ community detention, 12 months’ supervision, disqualified from driving for 28 days with leave to apply for a one-year interlock licence after that time, and ordered to pay $7117.33 reparation.

As there was no victim impact statement from Jaeger-Oehlert's former partner, Judge Brandts-Giesen did not order an emotional harm payment.




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