A man who sped away from a police checkpoint has had his licence disqualified for 12 months, and has been fined by the Courts.
Miimetua Brown, 20, appeared before Justice of the
Peace Vania Kenning in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday. He pleaded
guilty to failing to stop on demand, dangerous driving, and refusing to undergo
a breathalyzer test.
According to the summary of facts, the incidents took
place in March 2020, after Brown had been consuming alcohol at nightclubs with
“After the nightclubs closed at midnight on March 14,
2020, the defendant and his friends jumped into a black Toyota Hilux double cap
pick up truck with the defendant as the driver,” the summary says.
“The defendant drove the pickup from the nightclub,
coming around the roundabout through town and taking the side road at the
Energy Centre heading towards the Vodafone through Tutakimoa, and continued
towards the backroad intersection to drop off his friends in Avatiu.”
Unbeknownst to the defendant, a police checkpoint was
already set up on the backroad intersections in Tutakimoa targeting drunk
Brown was stopped at the checkpoint, after it was
noticed that he and his two passengers had recently consumed alcohol. Brown was
then asked to undergo a screening test for breath alcohol.
“While in the process of the screening test, the
defendant without warning the police officer, stepped on the accelerator and
fled off from the police checkpoint at high speed, refusing to remain at the
place while he was processed to undergo a breathalyzer screen test,” the
“The defendant almost ran over the officer processing
the breathalyzer test and the officer manning the checkpoint on the road. It
was fortunate the officers managed to avoid the truck hitting them on the road.”
The police officers called out and demanded Brown to
stop his pickup truck several times, but he continued speeding off with his
friends through the backroad heading towards Avatiu.
“As the defendant sped pass Pickering Motors Ltd, the
officers saw the lightings from the defendant’s truck switched off, and
dangerously continued speeding through the backroad in the dark without any
lights operating,” the summary says.
Brown was later brought to the police station, where
he admitted the facts as outlined.
He also explained to police that he fled off because
he was scared the police would confiscate the truck.
Defence Counsel Tai Nicholas acknowledged the offences
would likely come with a mandatory disqualification period.
However, he asked the JP to consider some relaxations
of the disqualification terms to allow him to drive to and from work.
Nicholas said Brown’s early guilty plea and the fact
it was his first appearance in Court also needed to be considered.
On all charges, JP Vanning fined Brown $350, ordered
him to pay $150 in Court costs, and disqualified him from holding a driver’s
licence for 12 months.