1493262323166 - Woman needed skin graft after crash caused by drunk friend

Woman needed skin graft after crash caused by drunk friend

A young man caught with more than three times the legal amount of alcohol in his system has admitted to causing an accident which left his friend with a badly broken arm. 

Xu Bo Zhang was charged after the March 20 crash in the New Plymouth suburb of Fitzroy.

The summary of facts said Zhang was driving on Clemow Rd about 11.30pm.  Earlier in the night he had been at his home drinking alcohol with friends.

After driving to Lake Rotomanu with three passengers, Zhang was on his way back to his house.

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As he drove south around Lake Rotomanu, the defendant accelerated heavily and lost control of his car, which rolled over the barriers and across to the opposite side of the road.

The car eventually came to rest on its roof.

Police attended the crash and breath-testing procedures were carried out on the defendant.

After taking an evidential breath test, Zhang returned a result of 830 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.  The legal alcohol limit for people aged 20 and over is 250mcg.

A female passenger received a badly broken arm and needed medical treatment, including a skin graft.

“In explanation the defendant said ‘I had about one can of KGB Vodka and some Chinese alcohol’,” the summary of facts stated.

On Thursday, the 20-year old pleaded guilty to one charge of drink driving causing injury during his appearance in the New Plymouth District Court.

Lawyer Julian Hannam said Zhang had one previous conviction for driving with excessive speed in 2015.

By way of making amends, the defendant was in a position to pay $1000 towards an emotional harm payment, Hannam said.

However, Judge Chris Sygrove wanted to know more about Zhang and asked for a probation report to be completed before sentencing on July 21.

A referral to the restorative justice service was also made. 

The charge against Zhang carries maximum penalties of five years’ jail, a $20,000 fine  and 12 months’ disqualification.

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