Teacher admits drink-driving when picking up child

A Lake Hawea teacher drove with more than twice the legal limit of breath-alcohol when she picked up one of her children from Wanaka last month.

Catherine MacIver (54) admitted driving with a breath-alcohol level of 690mcg on State Highway 6, in Hawea, on September 18 when she appeared before Judge Alison McLeod in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

The court heard she had her 15-year-old daughter in the car when, at 6.50pm, police observed her vehicle "drifting" within her lane.

After she was stopped and breath-tested, she told police she had consumed "a few beers" before driving.

Defence counsel Megan McCrostie said MacIver had consumed "a few wines and beer" while cooking dinner and then realised her daughter needed to be picked up from Wanaka, or she would be "stuck in town for the night".

"She didn’t realise how much she’d had to drink [and] didn’t think before getting behind the wheel."

McCrostie said MacIver recognised her breath-alcohol level was high, and knew she had made a "huge mistake".

"She is absolutely devastated, particularly [for] putting her daughter at risk."

She was studying at present and a conviction would affect her ability to obtain future employment.

Judge McLeod said she had no doubt MacIver was disappointed in herself; besides putting her child at risk, she had shown poor role modelling.

She was fined $800, ordered to pay $130 court costs, and disqualified from driving for six months.

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