Caught drink-driving while awaiting sentencing on previous drink-drive charge

A Wanaka farmer was on remand awaiting sentencing for drink-driving, when he was caught again — this time with a level more than four times the legal limit.

In the Queenstown District Court before Judge Russell Walker yesterday, Peter John Snow (59) was sentenced for both offences — his fifth and sixth convictions for drink-driving.

On September 6, Snow was refused service at a bottle store because of his level of intoxication and was observed by staff driving from the store.

He was stopped by police in Reece Cres.

An evidential breath test gave a reading of 950mcg.

Snow admitted that offence on September 27 and was remanded to yesterday for sentencing, but on October 16 he was caught driving drunk again.

On that day he drove into a residential accessway in Aubrey Rd, where he attempted to complete a reversing manoeuvre but repeatedly reversed into a neighbouring metal fence, damaging it.

Snow was sitting in the driver’s seat operating the vehicle when confronted by a neighbour, who remained with him and the vehicle until police arrived.

A breath test gave a reading of 1209mcg.

He told police he had driven from Beacon Point Rd to Aubrey Rd to tend a property he owned and planned to drive to Lindis Pass afterwards.

Counsel Louise Denton said there had been an 11-year gap since his last offending — in 2010 he was stopped with a breath alcohol level of 1009mcg, his fourth conviction for such offending, and received a sentence of imprisonment.

He had struggled to cope with the death of his mother, who had been his support person, but had not consumed alcohol since the second incident, she said.

Judge Walker said Snow had also abstained from alcohol for 11 years until his mother’s recent death and referred to a report which said his personal circumstances contributed to the offending, while a previous head injury might have affected his decision-making.

On both matters, Snow was sentenced to 15 months’ intensive supervision, with special conditions and judicial monitoring, disqualified for 28 days and authorised to apply for alcohol-interlock and zero-alcohol licences. He was also ordered to pay $1000 reparation.

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