A West Coast criminal lawyer who tried to beat a drink-driving conviction has been fined $4000.
Douglas Taffs, 58, was sentenced in the Nelson District Court on Monday for drink-driving and one charge each of failing to remain for a breath test and obstructing police.
In March this year, the Westport-based barrister was pulled over in his car and taken to the Westport police station.
After being left alone in a breath-testing room, he was later caught trying to escape over the police station's back fence and, once brought back, removed the breathalyser's power cord and hid it in a drawer.
Taffs then tried the urban myth of putting coins in his mouth to try to sabotage the machine's reading.
Taffs said in a letter of apology to police that he had behaved like a prat and was remorseful.
It is his third conviction in 30 years for drink-driving.
Judge Grace said the case would affect Taffs' dealings with police on the West Coast, although there was still support there for him.