Drink-drive sentence quashed


An Irish personal trainer who crashed her car in Queenstown while “black-out” drunk doesn’t need supervision says a High Court judge.

Justice Gerald Nation quashed a sentence of supervision handed down to Una Frances Creegan by Judge Kevin Phillips on March 23.

Creegan, 27, drove headfirst into a bank on Gorge Road in February, after driving through central
Queenstown from a Shotover Street car park.

She failed to negotiate a left-hand bend, crossed the centre-line and crashed. Police found her standing in the road, covered in vomit and smelling heavily of alcohol.

Creegan was three times the blood alcohol limit with a reading of 159mgs in blood.

On a drink-driving charge, she was sentenced to 140 hours’ community work, nine months’ supervision and banned from driving for a year.

Creegan appealed the combination of sentences with lawyer Liam Collins saying taken together they
are “manifestly excessive”.

Nation agreed saying supervision can only be imposed in addition to community work where it is
necessary for rehabilitation and to reduce the prospect of further offending.

“In this case, the judge’s sentencing remarks suggest the sentence of supervision may have been imposed, not to reduce the likelihood of further offending, but as a penalty,” Nation says.

Creegan was not required to attend an alcohol issues assessment as she’d lodged an appeal, but she
arranged one anyway.

It showed she has “potentially hazardous or harmful drinking patterns, but no dependency” and she does not need further treatment or counselling.

“The report confirms to me that the sentence of supervision was neither necessary nor appropriate,” Nation says.

The driving ban and community work sentence stand.