Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Drink-driver found asleep behind wheel
A repeat drink-driver found asleep behind the wheel on a winding Marlborough Sounds road has been warned she could be facing jail time.
Kim McInnes, 61, was driving on Queen Charlotte Dr on the morning of July 15 when another driver noticed her weaving across the centre line several times.
Police found her shortly afterwards parked on the roadside and sleeping behind the wheel, with the keys still in the ignition, a police summary of facts said.
McInnes gave a breath test result of 1572 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 250mcg but McInnes was not allowed any alcohol in her system because she had been on a zero-alcohol licence since May last year.
When spoken to by police, she told them she had been drinking champagne.
At the Blenheim District Court on Monday, McInnes admitted a charge of drinkdriving on a zero-alcohol licence.
Her lawyer Laurie Murdoch said a drug and alcohol report would be helpful for sentencing.
McInnes’ alcohol consumption was related to some events in her life the week before, Murdoch said. She was still drunk from the night before, ‘‘rather than a morning of drinking’’, Murdoch said.
‘‘Doesn’t that make it worse?’’ Judge Jo Rielly asked. ‘‘I mean, to be quite frank, I’m surprised she’s alive.’’
Murdoch said her client lived quite remotely in the Marlborough Sounds and she relied heavily on being able to drive. The high breath-test result made her eligible for an alcohol interlock sentence, which meant she would need to pass a breath test to start the car.
Judge Rielly said McInnes had three previous drink-driving convictions during the past decade, including a ‘‘fairly recent conviction for another extraordinarily high reading’’.
‘‘You need to be realistic, it may well be the only appropriate outcome for this is a sentence of imprisonment.’’
Judge Rielly ordered a presentencing report to look at electronically-monitored options, and a drug and alcohol report, and remanded McInnes on bail to November 23 with a condition not to drive.