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Home detention doled out to Taranaki drink-driver who caused crash

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Trevor Tehuinga Mason drove drunk and caused a car crash which injured himself and two others. Photo / Stock Image 123rf

A man injured and bound to a wheelchair as he recovers from a crash he caused while driving drunk – which also left two others injured – claims the incident has sworn him off alcohol.

Taranaki man Trevor Tehuinga Mason, 25, was intoxicated and driving at high speed in the early hours of New Year’s Day this year.

Around 2.45am he flew through the controlled intersection of Browne St and High Street West in Waitara, north Taranaki, without slowing down or giving way.

He slammed into a vehicle that was traveling along High Street West and contained two occupants, New Plymouth District Court heard on Monday.

The force of the impact caused both vehicles to rotate nearly 180 degrees, shunting them in opposite directions and leaving the driver’s side front wheel nearly torn from the victims’ vehicle.

Mason was trapped inside his car with a severely broken leg and while being treated for his injury a blood test was taken to analyse his blood alcohol level.

He returned a result of 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

As a result of the crash, one of the victims was hospitalised with six broken ribs and the other suffered a chest wall contusion and a delayed concussion.

Mason was charged with two counts of causing injury while driving with excess blood alcohol.

In court, Judge Phillip Cooper said a “very successful” restorative justice conference had taken place between Mason and the victims since the crash.

Referencing the subsequent report, Judge Cooper said Mason was remorseful for the harm he had caused.

“You are completely aware of the fact there was a potential for extremely serious injury or even death,” the judge said.

“[The report] tells me that you have given up drinking and you have apologised to the victims and that apology was accepted as genuine.”

The victims hoped for Mason, who appeared in court aided by a wheelchair, “to get on a good path and make himself better”.

He has been unable to work as a result of the injury he sustained and is due to undergo another surgery to remove the bolts in his leg.

Judge Cooper sentenced him to four months’ home detention with six months of post-detention conditions.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay $250 emotional harm reparation to each victim.

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