Canadian’s wings clipped


A Canadian working holidaymaker who tried to skip the country to avoid a drink-driving charge has been fined $800 and banned from driving.

Vincent Maranda, 23, who is living in Queenstown, was arrested at Queenstown Airport on February 19 after he tried checking in for a flight to Auckland.

He had onward flights booked to Fiji and Los Angeles, but a border alert stymied his plans.

Maranda was driving on Goldfield Heights about 2.15am on February 16 when he hit a parked car on the left-hand side of the road, careered across the road and hit another parked car.

All three vehicles were damaged. He recorded a breath-alcohol level of 675mcg.

Judge Bernadette Farnan, at Queenstown District Court on Monday, says Maranda was “distraught over some issues with his love life not going well” at the time of the crash.

For drink-driving, she fined him $800, and disqualified him from driving for seven months.

He was convicted and discharged for careless driving.

Not a happy camper
A drunk Queenstown man overtook a police car at speed with the bumper bar hanging off his car, a short time after crashing through a fence into a paddock.

Heli-skiing guide Timothy Robert Hunt, 32, was driving on Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Rd on October 1 last year _ after drinking all day at Treble Cone skifield when he lost control on a bend near Hospital Flat.

He crossed the centre line, over-corrected and crashed through a fence into a paddock.

He got back on to the road and was heading towards Glendhu Bay when he passed a patrol car at 108kmh with his bumper dangling.

Although police lost track of his vehicle, they received a call a short time later from staff at the Glendhu Bay campground, where they had taken his keys out of concern about his drunken-ness. Hunt admitted charges of driving under the influence of drink, careless driving and refusing to give a blood specimen when he appeared before Farnan.

He was banned for nine months for driving under the influence; for refusing a blood specimen he was fined $1100. For careless driving he was ordered to pay reparation of $5075.

Other drink-drive convictions
* Wade Cyr Burnett, 42, electrician, of United States, 658mcg, Lindis Pass-Tarras Rd, February 23, fined $750, six-month ban; driving 145kmh while towing a trailer, fined $150.
* Sarah Ann Carlton, 44, teacher, of Wanaka, 552mcg, Totara Tce, February 9, fined $600, six-month ban.
* Lena Gerscher, 20, of Germany, 680mcg, Frankton Rd, February 24, fined $800, seven-month ban; careless driving, ordered to pay $1500 reparation.
* Jonathon James MacTaggart, 41, of Albert Town, 101mg, Lake Hawea-Albert Town Rd, December 30, fined $600, six-month ban.
* Samuel Ludwig Sphor, 24, of Fernhill, 600mcg, Fernhill Rd, February 1, fined $700, six-month ban.
* Christopher James McLeod Craig, 36, labourer, of Wanaka, (fifth conviction), 575mcg, Frankton Rd, October 24, nine months’ supervision, 200 hours’ community work, alcohol interlock.
* Adam David Foster, 30, of Fernhill, 910mcg, Lake Esplanade, February 1, fined $1100, eight-month ban.
Rakesh Jodha, 31, of Arrowtown, 584mcg, State Highway 6, Kawarau Gorge, January 2, fined $650, six-month ban.
* Julian Witana Murray, 45, scaffolder, of Invercargill, driving while disqualified (third or subsequent conviction), July 12 in Queenstown; using obscene language, May 7, Stanley St, and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence, March 17, Beach St, 100 hours’ community work, 12-month driving ban.