Man drove drunk in car park near cop shop

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A North Otago man hooned around a car park while drunk, just metres from a police station, a court has heard.

Trevor Tauta Clarke (50) admitted charges of aggravated drink-driving and driving while disqualified as a result of the incident and followed it up with further calamitous behaviour a month later, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

On March 16, the defendant was in Oamaru’s Weaver St when he spotted a ute he believed belonged to someone who had wronged him.

Clarke tried to "whack" the vehicle, missed and later worked out it was a case of mistaken identity.

More serious was his conduct on February 18 when he was behind the wheel of a Nissan Maxima in the Dunedin Central Countdown car park, next to the city’s main police station.

A police summary said the defendant reversed aggressively then yelled at a pedestrian whom he nearly struck.

The antagonism continued in his dealings with supermarket staff before he got into his car again.

Police were able to stop him leaving, but unable to cool his temper.

Clarke yelled at officers and bystanders, the court heard.

An evidential test gave a breath-alcohol reading of 828mcg, more than three times the legal limit.

He told police he had been at the supermarket buying food and was planning to drive to the hospital to see his brother.

Clarke had been banned from driving indefinitely in November 2020, Judge Dominic Flatley said.

He had a "lengthy list of convictions".

The judge accepted Clarke’s behaviour could be attributed to a recent family bereavement and there was evidence he had suffered serious injury in a 2021 car accident.

The defendant had served time behind bars in the past and it had not had the "desired effect", Judge Flatley said.

Noting Clarke had already been in prison for the last two months, he imposed 15 months’ intensive supervision which would facilitate the treatment he needed.

Should he fail to complete the counselling, he would be locked up again.

Clarke was also convicted of disorderly behaviour and breaching a supervision sentence, and banned from driving for 28 days with alcohol-interlock provisions to follow.



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