It was supposed to be a fun night out before a trip to the Wanaka Rodeo on March 11.
But it ended up with Kelly McKervey arrested for drink-driving on Frankton Road, in Queenstown.
The 30-year-old plumber blew 915mcg when randomly stopped by police – almost four times the legal limit of 250mcg.
In Queenstown’s court last week he was granted a rare discharge without conviction by Judge Bernadette Farnan.
She says she’s “never had anybody” make the efforts McKervey has to right his wrong.
McKervey, who has “not touched a drop” of booze since that night, has some stark advice for others from overseas.
“If you get [convicted] for drink-driving, that’s it.
“You don’t have a future in New Zealand.”
He tells Mountain Scene he’s gone through that night “a million times” and still can’t understand why he decided to drive.
He was meant to stay at a friend’s house after a night on the town but the door was locked and he couldn’t wake anyone.
“For some reason I walked back to town, to my van and … decided to drive it.
“I don’t know why. It’s ridiculous.
“It was a spur-of-the-moment idiotic choice.”
McKervey says he never thought he’d be stupid enough to drink-drive.
“It’s almost broken me.”
To make amends, he’s set up Charity Trade Link.
It aims to connect Wakatipu charities and not-for-profit organisations with companies and tradies who can help for free or discounted rates.
He’s got a lot of companies, suppliers and charities on board, but is keen for others to come forward.
Before his hearing in court last Monday, the Scotsman performed almost 50 hours’ voluntary community work for the Kiwi Birdlife Park and he says he’s told them he’s “on call for eternity”.
He’s also raised more than $1500 for a charity triathlon later this year.
Farnan’s discharge was conditional on him paying $1200 to an Auckland-based trust which works with youths to advocate against drink-driving.
He wants to work with other organisations in Queenstown doing the same.
He’s also subject to an alcohol interlock on his car and when that’s removed he’ll be on a zero alcohol licence.