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Careless driving, high blood alcohol leads to $5000+ bill

Friday 24 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, Crime, National

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Careless driving, high blood alcohol leads to $5000+ bill
A man has been ordered to pay reparations of over $5000 for carelessly driving and crashing into a power pole in Arorangi. 24052307

Three drink drivers were sentenced in Avarua court, with one ordered to pay a hefty reparation for damaging a power pole.

A man has been ordered to pay reparations of over $5000 for carelessly driving and crashing onto a power pole in Arorangi.

At the Criminal Court in Avarua yesterday, three driving related matters were presided over by Justice of the Peace Nadine Newnham.

Ilaitia Vuidreketi, who had no legal representation, admitted to a charge of careless driving and excess blood alcohol.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo said that earlier this month, at around 9.48am, a motor vehicle driven by the defendant crashed into a power pole in Arorangi. The vehicle then spun and ended up on the opposite side of the road, on the seaside.

Senior sergeant Tararo said the defendant and the passenger sustained injuries.

The defendant admitted to consuming alcohol the previous night until morning before driving with his sister to purchase food and beers. The defendant also admitted to driving at a speed.

The blood analysis (test) revealed Vuidreketi’s blood alcohol level to be 249 milligrams.

In sentencing Vuidreketi, JP Newnham ordered that he pay reparations of $5077.80 for pole damages to Te Aponga Uira (TAU), $150 for blood reports, $400 fine and $50 court costs for each charge.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

In another matter, an import Avatiu Eels rugby league player was ordered to pay a fine of $335 for an excess blood alcohol charge. His blood analysis report showed his alcohol level was 210mg.

Viliame Temo was also ordered to pay a $40 fine for carelessly driving on the main road in Avarua and hitting a rubbish bin in front of the Bank of Cook Islands (BCI) at around midnight on May 12.

Senior sergeant Tararo said the defendant refused to make a statement during the police interview.

Defence lawyer Mark Short entered guilty pleas for his client and requested a discharge without conviction on the careless driving charge, arguing that the offence was not serious, as there were no long-term injuries or property damage.

Senior sergeant Tararo said the discharge would be at the court’s discretion.

Temo was further sentenced to a 12 months disqualification from driving and $150 for his blood report.

Lui Robert Nicholas, who was also charged for EBA and careless driving, was sentenced to pay a fine of $335, $150 for blood report and $50 court cost. Nicholas was also disqualified from driving in the Cook Islands for 12 months.

Senior sergeant Tararo said that on March 31, a crash involving the driver of a scooter was reported to police.

He said that at 3am in Tupapa the defendant veered off the road and crashed on to the hedges. A blood specimen was taken returning a result of 212mg.

Senior sergeant Tararo said the defendant had explained that a dog was involved in the crash.

Defence lawyer Short said the defendant, a 19-year-old living in Australia, has had a boxing career since he was 15 and had a big fighting event coming up.

Short said his client was with his friends consuming alcohol and got carried away.

He added that no one was injured, Nicholas was a high achiever and had never been in trouble before.

Short requested that he be discharged without conviction for the careless driving charge and JP Newnham accepted this, with no objection from police.