Repeat offender hid on lawn

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By GUY WILLIAMS

A repeat drink-driver from Arrowtown with a history of evading police will have to blow into a tube to start his car for at least the next six months.

James Robert Manser, 46, company director, was sentenced in Queenstown’s court last Friday on his second drink-driving conviction.

Manser, who also has convictions for dangerous driving and failing to stop for police, was
driving his Land Rover Discovery towards Arthurs Point just before midnight on August 15 when he failed to give way to a police patrol car on the Edith Cavell Bridge.

When the officer reversed off the bridge and activated his red and blues, Manser accelerated past and tried to hide by turning into Atley Road and parking on the front lawn of a private property.

But the manoeuvre was in vain; he was soon found, and a breath-test gave a result of 897mcg — more than three times the legal limit.

He told police he was heading home after drinking in downtown Queenstown, and tried to evade police because he knew he was too drunk to drive.

Manser has form for doing a runner.

In 2007 he failed to stop for a random breath test on Frankton Rd and led pursuing police through residential Queenstown Hill at speeds of up to 90kmh.

The chase ended when he turned into a dead-end street and crashed into a tree.

He then ran away, but turned himself in later that day.

For that he was convicted for dangerous driving and failing to stop and slapped with $1000 in fines and disqualified for six months.

Two years later, he was caught drink-driving on Frankton Rd with a whopping breath-alcohol level of 1015mcg — more than four times the current legal limit — for which he was fined another $1000 and disqualified for nine months.

Appearing before Community Magistrate Simon Heale in Queenstown’s court last Friday
for his latest offending, he was fined $1000 and disqualified for 28 days.

Like all repeat drink-drivers — or any driver with a breath-alcohol reading exceeding
800mcg or the equivalent blood reading — Manser was disqualified for 28 days.

He must now apply and pay for an alcohol interlock device to be fitted to his car — it must stay in place for at least a year, and can only be removed if he goes for six months without any more violations.

He must then apply and pay for a three-year zero-alcohol licence.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz