Woman drink-driver had been ‘seriously drunk’, judge notes

Court House-general1A Christchurch woman had been “seriously drunk” when she drove in Rolleston last year, according to the judge who yesterday imposed community detention and an indefinite driving ban.

It was the fourth drink-driving conviction for 45-year-old Vicki Lynette Purdon, of Rolleston, who had admitted the charge and was appearing in the Christchurch District Court for sentence.

Judge Tony Couch said police found her level was 233 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood – almost three times the legal limit of 80 milligrams.

“You were seriously drunk, and by inference a very real danger on the road,” said the judge.

Purdon is the former wife of top Canterbury harness racing trainer Mark Purdon.

In submissions by defence counsel Kerry Cook, the judge was told that Purdon had referred herself for treatment through the City Mission, and had sought psychological help. She was making good progress and was committed to taking advantage of the help available.

Judge Couch said she had previous drink-driving convictions in 2001, 2008, and 2011. She had had a serious alcohol problem over at least six years.

He sentenced Purdon to four months of community detention at her home in Rolleston, where she will be subject to a nightly curfew, nine months of supervision by the Probation Service, and indefinite loss of licence.

She has been allowed to sell the car she was driving – an $80,000 Audi – rather than have it confiscated but she is not allowed to own another vehicle for a year.


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