4 06 2008

Disabled drink-driver ‘bit officer’

By Mike Watson – The Dominion Post

4 June 2008


A Taupo woman who lost the use of her legs in a car accident was caught drink-driving twice in one night.

Carmen Donaldson was convicted yesterday in Taupo District Court of excess breath-alcohol, refusing to give a blood specimen, assaulting police, resisting police, driving while forbidden and refusing to accompany police.

The 35-year-old was stopped twice by police in November behind the wheel of her modified car.

Judge Chris McGuire said he was astonished at Donaldson’s attitude, and told her she would have been jailed if she was able-bodied.

“You seem unable to make the connection between drunk driving and killing someone on the road … and you are the victim of a car accident yourself.”

Donaldson was first stopped by police on November 27, giving a breath-alcohol reading of 554 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Her licence had expired.

Several hours later, at 2am on November 28, she was stopped again and police recognised her from the earlier offence.

As police tried to shift her from the driver seat, she bit an officer on the forearm and abused two officers, the court was told.

Police eventually removed her from the car by grabbing both her arms and pulling her out on to the road, spilling her colostomy bag.

Donaldson was taken to the police station in an ambulance. She refused to give a blood sample at the station.

In a tape recording taken in the police station and played in court yesterday, Donaldson claimed police dragged her from the car “like a dog” and dropped her on the ground.

Judge McGuire said a disabled driver was just as capable of killing others on the road when drunk as anyone else.

Donaldson was convicted and disqualified from driving indefinitely on the charge of refusing to give a blood specimen.

She was convicted and disqualified for six months for excess breath-alcohol and refusing to accompany police.

She was convicted and discharged on the charges of assaulting police, driving while forbidden and resisting police.




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