Heavy drink driver admits on his eighth conviction that it may be time to quit smoking

Andre Ihimaira Martin, 44, was caught driving under the influence of alcohol on Waikawa Road in Picton on June 1 (file photo)
Ricky Wilson/Staff

Andre Ihimaira Martin, 44, was caught driving under the influence of alcohol on Waikawa Road in Picton on June 1 (file photo)

A repeat drink driver convicted for the eighth time has admitted it’s time to quit alcohol.

Andre Ihimaira Martin, 44, gave a breath test result of 441 micrograms of alcohol per liter of breath, when police stopped him on Waikawa Road in Picton on June 1. The legal limit is 250 micrograms.

When the police spoke to him, Martin said he was driving his buddies between bars.

Martin pleaded guilty to drunk driving for the third or subsequent time in Blenheim County Court on Monday.

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His attorney, Josh Smith, said Martin has seven previous convictions of drunk driving since 1998, the most recent of which was refusing to give police a blood alcohol sample in 2019.

However, Martin agreed that he is unable to manage his alcohol consumption and needs help with that, Smith said.

‘ He said, and I quote, ‘I think it’s time to give it up.

Abigail Dougherty/Staff

Dr. Nikki Jackson spoke to Stuff about new data released by the Helen Clark Foundation on New Zealand’s alcohol buying habits. (The video was first published in November 2021.)

The pre-sentencing report recommended community detention and extensive supervision. A backpacker in family-owned Picton has been assessed as suitable for Martin to serve an electronically monitored sentence.

After his previous conviction for drunk driving in the past five years, Martin was also eligible to have an alcohol interlock installed in his car, which prevented him from starting the car without a clear breath test, and required him to pass random driving tests.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said Martin’s alcohol level in June was relatively low. However, he was surprised Martin agreed to drive his colleagues that night given his history of drunk driving convictions.

“You’re obviously a slow learner. I’ve had many sentences in the past… and I’ve continued to drink and drive,” said Judge O’Driscoll.

“When someone appears in court for the eighth charge of drunk driving, the appropriate starting point should be imprisonment.”

But after relying on Martin’s personal circumstances, Judge O’Driscoll was sentenced to three months in home confinement, with conditions continuing for another six months after the end of the home confinement period.

These conditions prevented Martin from possessing or consuming alcohol or nonprescription drugs, and from attending alcohol, drug, and nonviolence driving programs as directed by probation.

Judge O’Driscoll also ordered Martin to obtain the interlock, after serving the mandatory 28-day revocation period.

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