Drink-driver’s $3k night out

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Queenstown tour guide Xu Cao says he was trying to answer his phone when he ploughed into a parked truck at Shotover Country on November 24.

The force of the impact shunted the Naylor Love-owned ute forward and into another car on Woodstock Road.

The Mercedes Cao, 32, was driving was also extensively damaged.

Prosecutor Adrian Cheyne told Judge John Brandts-Giesen, in Queenstown’s district court on Monday, the owner of the ute heard the noise at 2.20am and went outside to investigate and called police.

Cao was taken to the Queenstown cop shop for a breath test but when he complained of head pain he was taken to Lakes District Hospital.

A blood sample returned a reading of 189mg of alcohol per litre of blood. The legal limit’s 50mg.

Brandts-Giesen disqualified him for 10 months for drink-driving, fined him $1200 and ordered him to pay $109 in analyst fees.

For careless driving he was slapped with a $400 fine and was made to pay a total of $1300 in reparation to the owners of the cars he hit.

Meanwhile, Irish bartender Dermot Joseph Hynes is probably wishing he copped a parking ticket instead of moving his vehicle while he had “an absolute skinful” of booze on December 4.

Arthurs Point resident Hynes, 36, was stopped by police on Coronation Drive and breath tested.

His level was 1035mcg – more than four times the legal limit of 250mcg.

While he told the cops he was driving home, lawyer Tanya Surrey says he was moving his vehicle to avoid a parking ticket.

Surrey says Hynes is remorseful, doesn’t usually drink and describes it as “a bit of a one-off”.

Brandts-Giesen fined him $1100 and disqualified him from driving for nine months.

Other drink-drivers

Joshua Cedric Gibson, 24, of the United Kingdom, living in Queenstown, landscape gardener, 563mcg, Hallenstein Street, December 9, fined $600, disqualified six months.

Bernard James Paul Kearney, 54, of Queenstown, 703mcg, Garston-Lumsden Highway, October 29, vehicle confiscated, disqualified nine months.

Raven Simone Richardson, 27, California, 563mcg, Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road, December 9 at Wanaka, fined $600, court costs $130, disqualified six months.