Arrowtown woman’s admits road danger charge

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An Arrowtown woman has admitted dangerous driving leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position after an accident.

Moraig Laurie Dunn Officer, 49, of Arrowtown, will be sentenced in May after yesterday admitting the charge in relation to an accident on Manse Rd on February 18. 

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said at 5pm on February 17 Officer drove to the centre of Arrowtown in her Toyota vehicle, parked and went to the Fork’n Tap where she consumed two beers. 

She went to an associate’s house for dinner and consumed about half a bottle of wine. 

About 9pm Officer became “argumentative” and left the address, driving back to the town centre. 

After coming across a group of residents drinking outside a private address, Officer stopped to join them, but “they moved inside and left her behind”. 

Sgt Collin said Officer became upset and walked to Arrowtown’s main street. 

At 11am she went to the New Orleans and due to a previous incident asked permission to be allowed to enter, which was given. 

She consumed one beer over an hour but became “loud and obnoxious”, Sgt Collin said. 

An hour later she was “shown the door but tried multiple times to re-enter”. 

About 1.15am on February 18, Officer drove her vehicle in a westerly direction on Manse Rd. 

The road was subject to a temporary 30kmh speed limit as new seal had been laid. 

Still upset she drove at sufficient speed that after going over the gentle rise lost traction as she went down hill. 

The vehicle slid sideways through a ditch, over a walking track and bounced up where it impacted at the top of a 1.5 m retaining wall. 

The vehicle overturned and landed on its roof about 7m further down the road, completely blocking the left-hand side of the road. 

“Due to it’s crash location it could not have been seen at all by any oncoming traffic as a bend just prior to obscured it from drivers’ view. 

“Drivers would be forced to o onto the right side of the road at short notice.” 

Sgt Collin said immediatly after the accident Officer extracted herself from the car and went “straight down the walking track towards the river”, did not call emergency services and did not ask anyone to call them on her behalf. 

The accident happened outside her place of work where her employers live, with her house _ also home to two tenants with cell phones _ about 100m further down the road. 

“The defendant failed to take any precautions in or around the vehicle towards the safety of others. 

The defendant did not revisit the vehicle until after it had been towed. 

In explanation she said she did not know it was a 30kmh zone, she may have been playing with the radio and when she went home she couldn’t find her land line _ located 14 hours later under her bed _ and did not want to disturb her flatmates by using their phones. 

Sgt Collin said the Queenstown Lakes District Council was seeking $3990 in reparation for damage done to the retaining wall. 

Judge Phillips remanded Officer on bail to May 6 for sentencing, seeking a full reparation report, a pre-sentence report, an appendix to address home and community detention and ordered an alcohol and drug assessment. 

Bail conditions included not to possess or consume alcohol, not to enter licensed premises and not to drive.