Monday, February 04, 2013

The "Do You Know Who I Am?" Defence

One night in Taupo, some twenty years ago, I was charged with drink driving. Both the breath and blood tests showed I was ten percent over the limit. After seeking two legal opinions, I was advised that the law is clear. There is no way to avoid a loss of licence and fine for drink driving. None at all.

No, I couldn't argue that I needed my licence to continue my job. No, I couldn't take advantage of the trial scheme, whereby the police gave warnings to people caught just over the limit. My level was three percent too high. I plead guilty, said my piece to the judge, lost my licence for six months, and paid a fine. I adapted.

So, you can imagine my surprise today to read that, actually, the law is more plastic than previous legal opinions had suggested. One can be twice the legal limit, get off, and have a cone of silence fall over the whole thing as if it never happened.

Unfortunately, one needs to be a worthy Sleb, not a working Pleb, to play this Get Out of Drunk Tank card. Undue hardship can only be begged by people who don't know the meaning of regular hardship.