Repeat drink driver to pay $38,000 for New Plymouth mall smash

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A repeat drunk driver who crashed through the mall’s parking lot barrier has been ordered to pay more than $38,000 in repairs – a sum the 65-year-old will take 24 years to complete for repay.

On the morning of September 15, 2021, Shelley Macfie was driving in the parking lot of the New Plymouth town center shopping center when she slammed into its steel barrier, leaving her vehicle perched halfway up the ledge, about three meters above- above a busy pedestrian zone.

Prior to the crash, Macfie had also driven through the gate arm of the parking lot entrance and then into a parked car.

She was helped from her vehicle by members of the public.

Shelly Macfie must now pay Center City $38,474 in compensation for the crash.

Vanessa Laurie / Stuff

Shelly Macfie must now pay Center City $38,474 in compensation for the crash.

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When she later spoke to police, the 64-year-old said she had drunk a 250ml glass of vodka before the crash.

It was discovered that she had 200 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in her system. The legal limit is 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters.

The 64-year-old man was four times over the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the accident.

Vanessa Laurie / Stuff

The 64-year-old man was four times over the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the accident.

Macfie was charged and admitted to driving with excessive alcohol in his blood and reckless driving.

Macfie appeared before Community Magistrate Sherida Cooper in New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday to be charged with reckless driving.

The charge had been postponed until Wednesday because Macfie wanted to initiate a restorative justice conference with Center City to establish the amount of relief sought.

Defense attorney Caroline Silk said Center City did not want to attend the meeting and demanded $38,474 for repairs.

Macfie had to be helped from her car by members of the public.

Vanessa Laurie / Stuff

Macfie had to be helped from her car by members of the public.

Silk said Macfie was only working 20 hours a week, drawing her pension and still paying her mortgage.

She said the 65-year-old could offer $1,000 immediately, but would pay the rest at $30 a week – which would take 24 years to repay.

Community Magistrate Cooper convicted Macfie and ordered payment.

In November last year, Macfie was convicted of driving with excess alcohol in his blood.

She was ordered to pay $241.99 in court and medical costs, and given nine months’ supervision to “deal with any alcohol-related issues.”

She was also banned from driving for 28 days and ordered to have a lockout for a year, which would be followed by a three-year zero alcohol license.

Macfie had a previous conviction for impaired driving.

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