Brandy to heat up after tenting lands over-the-limit driver in scorching water


Of the 4,658 suicides aged 15 and over, 26.6% were above the alcohol limit.


Of the 4,658 suicides aged 15 and over, 26.6% were above the alcohol limit.

When a speeding driver was stopped by police, he told them he had been drinking brandy that morning to warm up.

Richard John Yardley, 43, appeared in Nelson Circuit Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to a third charge of driving with excessive blood alcohol.

The summary of facts read in court says Yardley has two previous convictions for drunk driving, the second of which was last year.

Just after 4 p.m. on August 4, Yardley was driving on State Highway 6 toward Wakefield when police checked his speed at 82 mph.

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A blood test showed Yardley’s blood alcohol level to be 224 micrograms per 100 milliliters of blood – 4.5 times the 50ml limit.

Yardley told police he was drinking brandy that morning in Hanmer Springs to warm up after a cold night of camping. He was on his way to Picton, headed north for a new job, he told police.

Yardley’s attorney, Mark Dollimore, said his client, who was previously employed as a driver, was looking at ways to address his drinking.

Judge Jo Rielly ordered reports including an alcohol and drug report before Yardley’s sentencing on November 16.

“Exceptionally bad and dangerous piece of motoring”

Also four times over the limit was Mark Murray, 28, who appeared for sentencing on Monday.

On July 31, Murray was caught on Whakatū Drive driving 154 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.

A breath test gave a reading of 999 micrograms per liter of breath, four times the 250 microgram limit.

Murray’s attorney Dave Holloway said his client was “disappointed in himself”.

Rielly said the circumstances surrounding Murray’s insult were “an extraordinarily bad and dangerous way of driving”.

“The speed you were driving is dangerous enough. But being so heavily under the influence of alcohol makes it a lot worse.”

Rielly noted that although it was Murray’s third offense, Murray had last appeared in court a decade ago.

“I don’t know what’s behind that, why on earth did you choose to ride the way you did,” Rielly said. “It is so important that you know the risk you posed to all members of the community.”

Rielly sentenced Murray to 300 hours of community service, a “significant” sentence that reflected his grave insult, she said.

His driving license was revoked for 28 days, after which he could apply for an alcohol ban.