Drunk New Zealand driver opens another beer as he lies trapped in smashed car

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Trapped after flipping his car while drunk driving, a New Zealand man opened another beer as he waited to be rescued.

Paul Nigel Sneddon, 47, pleaded guilty to careless driving and drunken driving in a district court in the North Island city of Palmerston North, the Dominion Post newspaper reported Wednesday.

Sneddon failed to take a corner on June 1, crashed through a wooden barrier, and flipped his car onto its roof.

The newspaper quoted defense lawyer Peter Young as telling the court when Sneddon found he could not open the doors, “he had nothing else to do at that point, so he had another beer.”

When police found him trapped in the vehicle his breath-alcohol level was 1,191 micrograms — nearly three times the legal limit of 400 micrograms.

Prosecutor police Sgt. Ollie Outtrim told the court Sneddon went on a drinking bender after losing his job at a bakery.

Asked by an officer how much alcohol he had consumed, Sneddon replied: “‘Plenty. I’ve been drinking for four days straight,’ adding he had just lost his job in a local bakery,” Outtrim was quoted as saying.

Judge Gregory Ross fined Sneddon 1,100 New Zealand dollars ($776) and disqualified him from driving for 10 months.

Source: Asssociated Press

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