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Six weeks’ prison for dangerous drink-driver

Saturday 8 June 2019 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Crime


Once bitten, twice shy surely isn’t a mantra repeat drink-driver Teutoba Ariu lives by.

The 24-year-old man appeared before the High Court on Thursday for the eighth time on driving related charges and was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment.

Ariu appeared before Justice of Peace Georgina Williams and admitted to charges of dangerous driving and refusing to permit blood specimen.

He is alleged to have been driving on the main road in Tupapa under the influence of alcohol and had crashed.

While at hospital he refused an alcohol blood test, however in a police statement he admitted to consuming alcohol before he headed home that night.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo suggested a short term of imprisonment because Ariu had been before the court for several other driving-related offences.

Defence counsel Norman George disagreed, stating that the defendant did not deserve imprisonment.

He said Ariu was young and all he needed was guidance.

But JP Williams said this was Ariu’s fourth charge for refusing to give blood specimen, and at the age of 24, he was old enough to take responsibility.

She said she had given prison sentences to other cases similar to his and therefore in consistency, a short-term of imprisonment was justified.

Ariu will also face 12-months disqualification of his driver’s licence soon as he is released from prison.


● Okotai Rongo, who faces 13 separate charges ranging from assault, burglary, contempt and driving related offences, has admitted to all the facts of the offences.

Rongo admitted to charges of six counts of contempt of court, one count of being intoxicated in a public place, excess breath alcohol and dangerous driving late April this year.

On Thursday he admitted to charges of unlawful taking, burglary, assault on a female and theft.

He is represented by defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen and is to be sentenced before three JP’s on July 3 at 9.30am. He is remanded in custody.

● On an assault on a female charge, Tuainekore Kare’s matter has been adjourned for another week as he awaits psychiatric assessment.

● Okirua Manuela, accused of always damaging his parent’s property, also awaits psychiatric assessment. Defence counsel Norman George said they will wait for the report and will enter pleas to his charges next week.

● Young Tereanu Teava spends another week in custody after defence counsel Mark Short stated that he was yet to receive disclosures.

Short said upon Teava’s family advice, he was not seeking bail for his client.

Teava faces two counts of joint burglary, two counts of burglary, five counts of contempt of court and a charge of intent to injure and refusing a breath teast. This matter has been adjourned to July 4.