Drunk man picks kids up from school, drives through red light, crashes

August 9, 2022 1:33 pm

Zane Eramiha was nearly three times the legal breath alcohol limit when he picked up his daughters from school, then deliberately drove through a red light before crashing into another car.[Source: NZ Herald]

A man who blew nearly three times the legal breath alcohol limit after crashing when he went through a red light with his two young daughters in the car told police he’d only had “two beers”.

Through duty solicitor Kane Bidois, Zane Eramiha expressed his remorse for what happened and for putting his loved ones in jeopardy.

Community Magistrate Terry Bourke asked Bidois if he’d talked to Eramiha about his drinking, whether he had a problem or if it was “just spectacular stupidity this one day”.

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“Just the latter, sir,” Bidois replied.

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“He hasn’t had a beer for a month but he has reflected on his activities.”

On May 16, Eramiha picked up his two daughters, aged 7 and 9, from school and was heading home, south down the Waikato Expressway towards Cambridge.

After turning off at the Victoria Rd off-ramp he came to a line of right-turning traffic that had stopped at a red light.

Instead of stopping behind them, Eramiha began “undertaking” the line of vehicles before going through the red light and crashing into a northbound car.

Both vehicles were significantly damaged but fortunately no one, including his daughters, was injured. However, they were taken to Waikato Hospital for observation.

Eramiha was breath tested at the scene by police and returned a level of 660mcg. The legal limit is 250mcg.

When questioned, he said he’d only had two beers.

Bourke told Eramiha he put other road users, and his children, at “massive risk”.

“It’s an 80km/h area. They had every reason to be travelling at 80km/h and had you been a second earlier there probably would have been you and your daughters killed by that driving due to your stupidity.”

However, Bourke accepted Bidois’ submissions that Eramiha hadn’t had a beer or driven since the crash and vowed to never put his whānau in jeopardy again.

Apart from the odd speeding ticket, he had also never been in trouble or been in court before and was keen to participate in restorative justice but it was unable to happen.

He convicted Eramiha on both charges and fined him $660 with court costs of $130 and ordered reparation for the victims’ $750 insurance excess to be paid by September 1.

He was also disqualified from driving for nine months.