Compulsory six month wait for drunk drivers

Thursday 26 June 2014 | Published in Crime

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Compulsory six month wait for drunk drivers
Cooks' drunk drivers now have to wait longer to get partial licences.

Anyone disqualified from driving for excess blood/breath alcohol charges will now have no choice but to wait six months until they can apply for a conditional licence.

The issue was raised by Senior Police Prosecutor Tuaine Manavaroa in the High Court on Tuesday after Telecom technician Paul Akava was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months on a charge of excess breath alcohol.

A letter from Akava’s employer was submitted to the court explaining the need for him to be mobile and able to respond to call-outs.

Manavaroa explained to the three presiding Justices of the Peace that an amendment to traffic laws mean an application cannot be made by those convicted of drink driving until after six months.

A previous loophole in the Transport Act allowed immediate application for a partial licence by people convicted of excess blood/breath alcohol, if proof of undue hardship on the applicant or “anyone else”could be proven.

The Transport Amendment Act passed into law in April, better known for allowing visitors to drive in the Cook Islands for six months using their overseas licence, also included the disqualification amendment.