15 Aug 2008

Ruling on blood test expenses

9:12 am on 15 August 2008

A landmark court case in Christchurch has blocked the right of courts to order drink driving offenders to pay for blood tests.

The case began in March, when Leroy John Barr was convicted of drink driving. He appealed against a charge of $102 in medical expenses ordered by the District Court.

The High Court in Christchurch has ruled there was no right in law for courts to make such payment orders.

Lawyer Blake Dawson thinks the ruling could affect almost 90,000 people who have had tests over a drink drive conviction since 1980.

He thinks the Crown could face a $9 million bill if each one sought a refund.

The ruling is being examined by the police.