Rachel Fieldhouse


Drunk driver blames burrito for crash

Drunk driver blames burrito for crash

After slamming into a line of traffic stopped in front of him, a 65-year-old man has blamed being distracted by his burrito for the crash - rather than the beers he’d had before getting behind the wheel.

Ross Coeland had picked up a burrito on his way home in early June, claiming that he was distracted enough by his food that he didn’t see the car ahead had stopped.

After telling police he had been drinking, Mr Coeland was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol for a third or subsequent time, having been most recently convicted for the same charge in July 2017, per the NZ Herald.

On this occasion, Mr Coeland was found to be three times over the limit.

Appearing briefly in Nelson District Court, Mr Coeland admitted that he had been driving over the limit on June 2, with the police summary of facts showing that he returned a reading of 861 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath - equivalent to a reading 0.08 BAC in Australia.

“Due to his intoxication and distraction the defendant failed to see a line of traffic which had slowed to a crawl,” police prosecution told the court.

When he eventually noticed the slowing traffic and took evasive action, it was too late.

"When the defendant noticed the traffic ahead of him, he slammed his brakes on and skidded, crashing hard into the rear of the trailing vehicle,” the prosecution said.

When police found him, Mr Coeland was covered in his ill-fated burrito.

He has been remanded on bail for sentencing in September, as well as for a pre-sentence and alcohol and drug report.

According to NZ Transport Agency, Mr Coeland could see his licence suspended, a fine of up to $6000 or a prison sentence of up to two years if it is his third offence, and the court impose a “zero alcohol licence”.

Image: Getty Images

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