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11 November 2022

Drink driver more than five times over the limit

Saturday 11 March 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime, National


Drink driver more than five times over the limit
Ahead of a new motorcycle helmet law being introduced, police are continuing to issue stern warnings about drink-driving. 16071086

A drunk driver on Rarotonga who recorded a breath alcohol reading nearly five times the legal limit – the highest police have seen in recent years – has appeared in court.

The motorist, 38-year-old Tangianau Amiri, was recorded as having 1200 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath on February 25.

The limit is 250mcg.

He appeared in the Criminal Court on Thursday charged with excess breath alcohol and dangerous driving. 

Justice of the Peace John Whitta told the defendant he didn’t have to enter a plea before Amiri said he was guilty. 

JP Whitta again advised him to seek advice as the dangerous driving charge was serious.   

Amiri was breathalysed following a collision with a motorcyclist in the Arorangi area about 9pm.  

Police had specific concerns about the incident at the time, mainly revolving around the source of the drinking – a government property.

Amiri reportedly told police he had been at a statutory entity, near town and had allegedly driven from town to Arorangi where the crash occurred. His reading was 1200mcg - the highest police had seen in recent years. 

At the time Police said if there is drinking going on at government properties, there needs to be stringent control.

It prompted Public Service Commissioner Carl Hunter to issue a warning that the head of the agency where the drinking took place, will reprimand their employees for drinking and driving while under the influence of alcohol.     

“Such behaviour on a Government property is simply not tolerated,” Hunter then said.

The matter was adjourned to April 13. 

Man facing breach charge 

free to go fruit picking 

A man facing a breach of probationary licence charge had been allowed to travel to
New Zealand.    

When Teariki Araipu’s name was read out in the Criminal Court on Thursday, lawyer Norman George quickly jumped to his defence, saying he had read the submission and believed the evidence was unsatisfactory. 

Justice of the Peace John Whitta said it was not a defended hearing.

“It is not even good enough, the evidence is not from a probation officer.”

George said his client had not been drinking alcohol but a friend had said he was under the influence.

“The person who gave evidence never saw him drinking.”

JP Whitta said the matter should be heard as a defended hearing, and a witness called to give evidence.

George said there was now a problem as the defendant had a fruit picking job in New Zealand and had to travel next week.

On that basis they would enter a not guilty plea, he said, and asked for the matter to be moved to November. 

George said he would seek an adjournment and ask for a variation of bail for Araipu to go to New Zealand.

“That’s why I mention the cracks in this case.”

Probation did not object but did mention the defendant’s term of probation ended in September. 

JP Whitta said he would still have to answer to that charge in November.

George said he would argue there was no proper evidence.

The matter was adjourned to November 9.