Christchurch businessman’s third drink-driving shame


High-profile businessman Bryan Pearson – who recently stood down from running for the top job at Christchurch City Council – has been fined for his third drink-driving conviction. 

Pearson, 48, who is also the former boss of Christchurch venue management company Vbase, appeared in Queenstown District Court today on a charge of exceeding the legal blood-alcohol limit while driving on Lake Esplanade on August 11. 

The court heard that Pearson was stopped at midnight by police and when questioned he said he’d shared two bottles of wine between three people and that “he didn’t think he was over the limit”. 

Pearson’s reading was 92 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mcg. 

Pearson has two historic drink-driving convictions dating back to the early 1980s, his lawyer told the court.
“He certainly regrets the matter and apologises to the court,” his lawyer says. 

Judge Kevin Phillips says that while Pearson’s previous convictions are historic, it’s still an aggravating factor. “It shows to me, in any event, that you had not taken note of the fact that you had previous convictions of excess-breath-alcohol.” 

Judge Phillips, after reading a letter from Pearson noted that he and his family have “quite clearly had a most traumatic year” in the earthquake-ravaged city. 

Pearson – who as boss of Vbase oversaw the running of AMI Stadium, the Christchurch Convention Centre, CBS Canterbury Arena and the city’s Town Hall – pulled out of the race to become CCC’s chief executive at the end of August. He reportedly said he wanted to pursue “particularly interesting and exciting” opportunities that had come up. 

He was fined $1000, ordered to pay court costs and analysts’ fees and disqualified from driving for 13 months.