26 Apr 2013

Unusual drink-drive charge admitted

9:42 pm on 26 April 2013

A Christchurch man has pleaded guilty to the unusual charge of letting another man drive while drunk.

Ben Beazley appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Friday where he admitted aiding and abetting his friend by allowing him to drive while under the influence of alcohol.

It is understood the charge relates to the death of his friend while driving drunk on his 18th birthday.

Beazley is due to be sentenced in July this year.

An Auckland University law professor says being charged with allowing another man to drive drunk is rare - but the offence has been on the statute books a long time and there is no reason it can't be used.

Warren Brookbanks says there needs to be some active involvement by an offender for the charge to be laid.

"There's no reason why it can't - provided you can establish that the principle offence was committed and there's sufficient evidence of participation, either by aiding and abetting or by counselling and citing or procuring, which includes encouraging.

"People who do drive or allow others to drive their cars while drunk take a very big risk."