A pensioner will serve more than a year’s probation for crashing a rental car into a power pole.
Teremoana O Kaiura
Iokaimo appeared before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro at the Criminal Court
in Avarua on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to driving with excess blood alcohol
and careless driving.
According to the
summary of facts, read out in court, the incident occurred on May 22, 2022,
when Iokaimo was driving a rental car near Tupapa.
He lost control of the
vehicle and crashed into a power pole. He was subsequently blood-tested for
alcohol content, and drew a reading of 259mcg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
The legal limit is 50mcg.
Senior sergeant Faiora
Tararo said the police were seeking a period of 18 months’ probation, along
with reparations for the blood test ($150), towage of the rental ($709), and
fixing damage to the rental car (about $11,000) and the power pole (about $4900).
Tararo also said that
the careless driving and EBA charges came with a mandatory period of being
disqualified from driving of 12 months.
Defence counsel Norman
George said his client would accept the sentence of probation, as well as the
disqualification of driving and the reparations for the blood test and the
towage. However, he said the reparation sought for the damage to the rental
vehicle and power pole was excessive.
“Surely the power
poles didn’t cost nearly $4900. In fact, these are old power poles would not
have cost more than $300,” George told the Court.
George also said the
reparation for the rental car would not have been as a high as $11,000.
“Those cars would have
been well covered by insurance. In any case, my client is a pensioner and it
would be like getting water out of a rock,” George told the Court.
George asked for the
matters involving the reparations for the damaged power pole and rental vehicle
be referred to the civil court, where a “true value can be determined”.
JP Taoro sentenced
Iokaimo to 18 months’ probation, but discounted it to 12 months in light of it
being his first offence and his early guilty plea.
conditions include that Iokaimo is not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol
or enter any licenced premises.
“This was a seriously
high reading,” Taoro said.
She also disqualified
Iokaimo from driving for 12 months, and ordered him to pay $709 for towing fees
and $150 for the blood test.
She referred the
matters of the reparations for the power pole and rental car to the Civil