Drunk on gin, driver crashed BMW into row of trees in Dunedin

A man who had drunk gin and crashed his BMW into three cars blew a “ridiculously high” breath-alcohol level, a court has heard.

So drunk was Samuel James Angove, 26, that he could not recall why he was in the driver’s seat in the early hours of December 29, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

In just more than 100m, he managed to crash into three other vehicles.

“He doesn’t offer any explanation for why he got behind the wheel other than intoxication and an appalling lack of judgment,” counsel Jo Turner said.

Angove pleaded guilty to drink-driving and dangerous driving — the first convictions on his criminal record.

He gave a breath-alcohol reading of 1099 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath – which is more than four times the legal limit.

Community Magistrate Sally O’Brien was flabbergasted.

“That’s a ridiculously high level,” she said.

“I’m not sure how you even found your car with that amount of alcohol in your system. You were very, very lucky, as were members of the public on the road at the same time.”

Angove left his home in Cannington Rd, in Maori Hill, and almost immediately slammed into a Toyota across the street.

In turning his vehicle around, the driver also managed to hit a Nissan, but still he continued.

He weaved onwards along the road a few metres before smashing into a Mazda.

But not even that could halt his drunken progress.

Angove turned into Stonelaw Tce where he lost control of his vehicle.

He become stuck in a grass verge and when police arrived he claimed he had earlier consumed five gin and tonics at home.

Ms Turner said her client took full responsibility for the brief but destructive rampage and would pay for all the damage he caused.

Angove had dealt with the insurance company in relation to one victim and was expecting to hear from a second.

The third victim sought reparation through the court process and Ms O’Brien imposed an order for $1500.

Angove was fined $900, ordered to pay court costs of $130 and banned from driving for 10 months.

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