Pregnant, drink-driving ‘child’ dismays police

NZ Herald Jan 30, 2009

A 14-year-old Whangarei girl, legally too young to have sex, buy alcohol, or drive a car, has shocked police who this week caught her behind the wheel, five times the drink-drive limit and four months pregnant. The teen was spotted by police driving “erratically” on Kamo Rd in Whangarei about 11pm on Tuesday. She allegedly provided officers with a false name, which she had problems spelling, before giving a breath-alcohol reading of 828 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath – more than five times the youth drink-driving limit of 150mcg, and more than twice the adult limit of 400mcg. But officers say the situation is hardly surprising, given that alcohol is readily available to youths, and teen drink-driving is on the rise.

..Family First lobby group director Bob McCoskrie said the girl’s situation showed a lack of proper boundaries in her discipline. “There’s a huge issue of lack of supervision for this case,” he said. The case highlighted a lack of pre and post-natal advice for women as well as a lack of debate around the country’s attitude to alcohol, Mr McCoskrie said. New Zealand had extremely high teen pregnancy and binge drinking rates, and the girl’s case could be just the “tip of the iceberg”, he said.