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Judge shocked at recidivist drink driver’s link with diabetes: ‘How you can still be alive is beyond me’

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Former Auckland man Shailendra Deo had to be stopped twice by Raglan locals who witnessed his poor driving while drunk on their streets. Photo / File

A judge has been left stunned by how a man suffering from diabetes can repeatedly drink drive to excess and still be alive.

Former Auckland man Shailendra Kumar Deo was so drunk behind the wheel on two occasions – within two days of each other – while driving around Raglan that members of the public had to pull him over and call police.

When he appeared for sentencing before Judge John McDonald in the Hamilton District Court yesterday, the court heard how he was so incapacitated that on both occasions he was unable to complete breath-testing procedures.

He recorded blood alcohol levels of 284mlg and 311mlg, which the judge said equated to about 1300mcg and 1470mcg respectively.

The legal blood alcohol limit is 50mlg; breath 250mcg.

Prior to sending him to jail for his drink-drive recidivism, Judge McDonald said, “I’m told by [counsel] Mr [Kane] Bidois that you suffer from diabetes”.

“How you can drink this much with serious diabetes and still be alive is beyond me.”

Deo, who now has six drink driving convictions, was first spotted in his Holden on March 31, this year about 12.30pm driving on Wainui Rd.

He was seen crossing the double yellow lines multiple times and driving “entirely” in the wrong lane.

Because his driving was so erratic, oncoming motorists had to drive onto the footpath to avoid a collision with him.

A member of the public who was following was so alarmed that he overtook Deo, sounded his horn, flashed his lights, before other motorists also joined in.

The 48-year-old finally stopped and his keys were taken from him. Police were phoned and he was arrested.

He told officers he was driving to the dairy to get some lollies to control his diabetes after drinking three quarters of a bottle of gin ’til 2am that day.

However, two days later he was back on the roads of Raglan again, driving along Marine Parade.

Again, a member of the public became concerned about his driving and called police.

He told police he had stopped to get fish and chips.

On both occasions, he was too inebriated to complete breath testing and had to have blood samples processed.

At the time he was staying at the Raglan Campground, but had since moved to Hamilton.

Bidois tried to keep his client out of jail, pushing for a sentence of intensive supervision and community detention so he can get stuck into his rehabilitation.

He said Deo’s relationship with his wife and kids had “deteriorated”, which had a negative impact on his mental health and motivation.

Deo’s issue with drinking was making sure he was organised with his diabetes beforehand to ensure he had appropriate supplies.

“With proper support around him, it could be mitigated to a level where I would be somewhat confident that Mr Deo would not be a recidivist drink driver.

“But without that intervention, he is looking like going down that track.”

But Judge McDonald was not impressed.

“Currently there are too many New Zealanders losing their lives on our roads because people like you get grossly intoxicated and cannot control their motor vehicle and kill.

“You must be aware of that,” he said.

“One could be callous Mr Deo and say that society doesn’t care if you drink yourself to death.

“What we do care about is you getting a skin full of liquor and then driving on our roads.
You have done that time and time again.”

He said a sentence other than jail would not adequately reflect the harm he had caused.

Deo, listed on court documents as a nurse, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from driving for six months on a charge of dangerous driving.

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