Drunk grandfather lets seven-year-old boy drive him home

Updated: 

Drunk grandfather lets seven-year-old boy drive him home

A New Zealand man has been jailed for 10 months after getting drunk and handing his car keys to a seven-year-old boy to drive him home.

Tehere Maihi Maaka was pulled over in his BMW around 500 metres away from his house after police spotted the child sitting just centimetres away from the steering wheel.

Maaka had been helping the child to steer from the passenger seat, but in his intoxicated state could not prevent the car colliding with a kerb.

The 49-year-old was breath tested at the scene and was found to be three times over the legal drink-drive limit.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess breath alcohol and allowing the child to drive on the public road in January this year.

Court documents showed that Maaka had "intentionally engaged in conduct which was a major departure from the standard of care to be expected of a reasonable person," reported the Waikato Times.

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Field of Auckland District Court, said: "You placed a child at serious risk, you're a recidivist drink-driver and driving under the circumstances caused enormous concern for the community at large."

He also stated that Maaka clearly had problems with alcohol, with this latest drink-driving conviction being his fourth in nine years.

The grandfather was banned from driving indefinitely and would be subjected to a zero-tolerance alcohol limit for three years after being allowed back behind the wheel.