Chch driver's booze level 'deadly': judge

NZ Newswire August 24, 2012, 11:40 am

A Christchurch drink-driver whose breath-alcohol level would have been deadly to many other people will serve home detention, after being caught drink-driving twice in a week.

At Christchurch District Court on Thursday, Judge Phillip Moran sentenced Lynda Anne Marie Cameron, 54, to 12 months' home detention for two charges of drink-driving - her third and fourth convictions - and driving while suspended.

She will also continue to attend alcohol rehabilitation counselling and treatment courses, Christchurch Court News reports.

Cameron had been undergoing treatment as a resident at the Elm Tree Lodge addiction centre, but was unable to stay there on home detention.

Cameron was caught with a breath-alcohol level of 1910mcg on April 16, and 1470mcg on April 19.

The legal limit is 400mcg.

Judge Moran said the April 16 level was the highest he had seen in his 20 years as a judge.

"Many people would have been dead at that level, but you are an alcoholic and you have developed a resistance to alcohol," he said.

Defence counsel Ros Burnside said Cameron had been an alcoholic for 10 years and had mental health issues, but her recent rehabilitation had helped her make gains, and had been her longest period of sobriety in years.

Judge Moran also disqualified Cameron from driving indefinitely.

She will not be able to apply to get her licence back for at least a year, and not until she has passed an alcohol assessment.

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