Chronic drink-driver jailed again

December 1, 2014 | By More

Bottles-02Twelve-time drink-driver Warwick Bruce Couchman has been jailed for two years eight months after driving on Lincoln Road, Christchurch, when he was so drunk he fell over. His level was 1438mcg to a litre of breath – more than three times the 400mcg legal limit – and he was reported to the police by a member of the public who saw him back into a parked truck in a supermarket carpark.

He told police that he drove to the supermarket because it was too far to walk to get more wine.

Sixty-two-year-old Couchman, a beneficiary, had pleaded guilty to charges of drink-driving, driving while disqualified – his tenth for that offence – and careless driving. Defence counsel Carol Morgan said Couchman acknowledged he was a chronic alcoholic.

He was relieved that nobody had been injured by his offending. He had “served honourably in the past” – an experience that Judge Jane Farish noted had left him with post traumatic stress disorder and a dependency on alcohol.

Judge Farish said the latest incident occurred on October 4 when Couchman drove 2.2km to the shopping centre to get more alcohol. He reversed into a truck in the carpark but caused no damage, but then fell over when he got out of the car. His partner drove him home.

Couchman has done five rehabilitation courses, without success. The judge said he had tried to get on top of his demon but had never wanted to stop totally.

The latest offending occurred only a month after his release from his previous jail term.

She jailed him for 32 months, renewed his indefinite disqualification from driving, and ordered that he be subject to a zero-alcohol licence for three years if he ever does get his licence back.

“Unless you make a decision to stop offending, you will remain a risk,” said Judge Farish.

Category: News

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