Teacher risks reg­is­tra­tion with sec­ond drink­drive con­vic­tion

Otago Daily Times - - COURT - ROB KIDD

A BAL­CLUTHA pri­mary­school teacher has been caught drinkdriv­ing for the sec­ond time — this time just a kilo­me­tre from where he works.

Rose­bank School’s Jar­ryd Kareti Tuhou (32) could now lose his teacher’s li­cence af­ter blow­ing 1017mcg of al­co­hol per litre of breath — more than four times the le­gal limit.

The case will be re­ferred to the Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil and while de­fence coun­sel Kather­ine Neville­Lamb said her client was likely to be rep­ri­manded and given su­per­vi­sion, there was a pos­si­bil­ity his reg­is­tra­tion could be can­celled.

The Dunedin District Court yes­ter­day heard Tuhou was driv­ing his mother’s Honda on the Owaka High­way to­wards Bal­clutha when po­lice were called by a con­cerned mem­ber of the pub­lic.

Of­fi­cers spoke to the de­fen­dant as he pulled into the car park of Rose­bank Lodge, near the school. He was ‘‘vis­i­bly in­tox­i­cated’’, the po­lice sum­mary said.

De­spite get­ting out of the driver’s seat, Tuhou im­me­di­ately claimed he had not been driv­ing.

Tuhou, she said, ac­cepted teach­ers were role mod­els in the com­mu­nity and he ‘‘deeply re­gret­ted’’ his ac­tions on Septem­ber 21.

The court heard he had been drink­ing at a bowl­ing club and when he was pulled over at 9pm.

The in­ci­dent was a re­peat of what oc­curred two years ago, Judge John Mac­don­ald said.

On that oc­ca­sion, Tuhou also blew a high level — 937mcg.

‘‘You need to think se­ri­ously about your drink­ing,’’ he said.

De­spite the two in­ci­dents, the de­fen­dant did not be­lieve he had a prob­lem with al­co­hol, his coun­sel said.

She pro­vided a ref­er­ence let­ter from Rose­bank School’s prin­ci­pal, which stressed his sup­port for the year 7/8 teacher.

The judge said a sec­ond con­vic­tion for drink­driv­ing usu­ally re­sulted in an out­come of com­mu­nity work.

But Ms Neville­Lamb said Tuhou was heav­ily in­volved in sports and kapa haka at the week­end, which would make it dif­fi­cult for him to com­plete such a sen­tence.

Judge Mac­don­ald ac­cepted the ar­gu­ment and sen­tenced him to six months’ su­per­vi­sion (to do al­co­hol coun­selling) and fined him $750.

Tuhou was banned from driv­ing for 28 days, af­ter which he must ap­ply for an al­co­holin­ter­lock li­cence.

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