29 Nov 2008

Handwash blamed for drink-driving

5:38 pm on 29 November 2008

A doctor has been convicted of drink-driving, despite blaming an alcohol handwash he used at work.

Orthopaedic surgeon Ian Denholm, 53, earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying the surgical handwash put him over the legal limit.

He was fined $275 and had his licence suspended for six months on Friday by the Wellington District Court.

Denholm was pulled over on 6 July 2007 and admitted having up to two glasses of wine.

He recorded a breath alcohol level of 593 micrograms - over the legal limit of 400mcg - when tested at a police station.

The doctor claimed his eczema provided an extraordinary ability to absorb alcohol in the hand wash gel he used to scrub up after operations.

The judge agreed to postpone the suspension of his license until 23 January as Denholm is the on-call surgeon over the Christmas holiday season.