One of New Zealand’s most dangerous drivers has just clocked up his 26th drink-driving conviction.
When Raymond Laing – who is already banned from driving indefinitely – was stopped in Napier last month, his breath test recorded 1198 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, almost three times the legal limit of 400mcg.
It was the seventh time the 44-year-old Hastings man had blown more than 1000mcg, and the 31st time he had been caught driving while disqualified.
Appearing in Napier District Court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving while disqualified. Judge Tony Adeane requested a probation report and remanded Laing in custody until July for sentencing.
In 2010, Laing was jailed for two years and six months for drink-driving, refusing to give blood, assault and dangerous driving causing injury. He was also indefinitely disqualified from holding a driver’s licence.
It is a minor miracle Laing has not killed someone yet, but it is only a matter of time.
I’m tempted to say he should be given the maximum sentence but it is only two years jail, or five years if he causes injury.
The problem is he then gets out, and maybe drives drunk a few dozen more times until he is caught again.
What *might* work is if he could be sentenced to wear an ankle bracelet with GPS, that would immediately alert Police if his speed is more than say 20 km/hr indicating he must be in a vehicle. They can then intercept the vehicle and arrest him if he is the driver. Knowing that they will know if he is in a vehicle, may actually discourage him from drink driving as certainty of being caught is a major deterrent.
If someone else is driving, then that is fine. But it doesn’t sound like he is someone who gets others to drive him often.