Thursday, 9 April 2009 - 4:19pm |
National News

Waikato Police Easter drink drive warning

1 min read

Eastern Waikato Police are hoping the sentencing of a man found responsible for the death of another motorist will act as a deterrent to anyone contemplating drinking and driving this holiday weekend.

Sergeant Neil Mansill of the Matamata-Piako Strategic Traffic Unit said Anthony Rodney LEABOURN, 42, was sentenced to two-years-three-months imprisonment in the Morrinsville District Court on Tuesday.

"He was charged with excess breath alcohol, third or subsequent offence, causing death and also received three years disqualification from driving."

Mr Mansill said he hoped the sentencing would bring some closure to the family of Jonathon Vincent Jones of Kawerau who died when the car he was a passenger in that was driven by LEABOURN struck a bridge on the Old Te Aroha Rd on 19 September.

The crash happened about 11.20am and Mr Jones was 22 when he died.

"At the time of the crash LEABOURN was driving while being nearly two times over the legal alcohol limit.

"To make matters worse Waikato Police had been carrying out a comprehensive clamp down on rural rat runs in the area and had deployed patrols in the area that traversed that road only five minutes earlier," said Mr Mansill.

One of the most frequent questions asked by motorists stopped that morning was what Police hoped to achieve by breath testing people at the beginning of the day?

"That crash proved the danger of drink drivers applies at all times and it hasn't gone away, last month we stopped a driver at midday who blew nearly three times over the legal limit then two days later a driver sped past a Te Aroha school doing 70km/h and when stopped was driving while over twice the legal limit.

'Drivers need to be aware that Eastern Waikato Police will be operating a whole of Policing approach to road policing on our regions roads this holiday period, drivers can expect to encounter our patrols anytime and anywhere," he said.