Teacher risks registration with second drinkdrive conviction
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.