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Queenstown entrepreneur discharged due to company prospects

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sat, 23 Apr 2022, 10:34am
The man's breath test gave a result of 530mcg - more than twice the legal limit.
The man's breath test gave a result of 530mcg - more than twice the legal limit.

Queenstown entrepreneur discharged due to company prospects

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sat, 23 Apr 2022, 10:34am

A Queenstown entrepreneur has avoided a drink-driving conviction because of the potential impact on his latest sartorial venture.

Felix Watkins, 26, of Arthurs Point, was stopped by police on the Frankton-Ladies Mile Highway on March 3 after his car was seen weaving in its lane.

He smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, was slurring his speech, and had an open can of alcohol beside him.

A breath test gave a result of 530mcg — more than twice the legal limit.

At a hearing in the Queenstown District Court yesterday, counsel Tanya Surrey said Watkins was one of two principals of a newly-formed clothing company, Woolies Limited.

As its production and sales manager, he intended to relocate to Portugal to set up its manufacturing operation.

He also needed to travel to Canada, which was expected to be the company's primary market.

Surrey said she understood getting a visa for either country would be "impossible" with a conviction.

Not only would the defendant lose his employment, but a "significant opportunity" for the company would be lost.

The defendant had made an early guilty plea and had no previous convictions.

Community magistrate Simon Heale granted the discharge and disqualified Watkins from driving for six months.

He did not impose a fine because the defendant had made a $500 donation to St John.

  • A discharge without conviction was also granted to Israel Claudio Vitta San Martin 32, of Queenstown, on a charge of drink driving (577mcg) in Lake Esplanade on December 29. He was disqualified for six months.

- Guy Williams, ODT

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