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Drink proves expensive idea

Saturday January 05, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

Ten people facing charges of driving with excess breath alcohol appeared before Justice of Peace John Whitta at the Cook Islands High Court on Thursday.


Rupeni Mataitoga - entered an early guilty plea after being caught driving a motorcycle on December 31, 2018 at around 1am at Upper Tupapa.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo told the court that Mataitoga’s alcohol breath level was over the legal limit.

He said Mataitoga was returning from a celebration and this was his first appearance.

JP Whitta sentenced and convicted Mataitoga, fining him $400 fine $50 court cost. He was also disqualified from driving in the Cook Islands for the next 12 months and asked to surrender his driver’s licence. 

Maurice Napa did not enter a plea and the matter was adjourned to February 7.

The court heard on December 31, 2018, Napa was caught driving a motorcycle in Avarua with an alcohol breath level over the legal limit.

Temata Rangi was convicted and sentenced to a $350 fine and $50 court cost and ordered to surrender driving licence whereby his being disqualified from driving for the next 12 months.

Leon Moros was convicted and fined $250 with $50 court costs. He was also ordered to surrender his driver’s licence. The court heard that on January 1, Moros was driving a motorcycle in Upper Tupapa and police found that his alcohol breath level was above the legal limit.

Hinano Siulepa entered an early guilty plea and was convicted and fined $400 and $50 court costs. She was also disqualified from having a driver’s licence for 12 months.

Likotangata Veutu also entered an early guilty plea and was convicted and fined $250 fine with $50 court costs and 12 months’ disqualification of her driving licence.

Denzel Ponini did not wish to enter any plea and opted to seek legal advice. The matter was adjourned to February 7.

Rose Tamarangi pleaded guilty to her first offence and was convicted and fined $30 plus $50 court costs. She was ordered to surrender her driving licence and was disqualified from driving for the next 12 months.

Disney Moetaua did not appear in court and a bench warrant was ordered.

Ngatamaine Sila  did not enter any plea, and will seek legal advice. The case was adjourned to Janaury 10.

Meanwhile, Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt has warned motorists that police are continuing their random checks on road safety.

He said police prevented two people from driving due to alcohol consumption on Wednesday night this week, and warned several others.     

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