Courts turn tables on drunk driver


Several drink-drivers appeared in New Zealand’s district courts in April, among them a man fined for driving a motorised picnic table while under the influence of alcohol.

Mosgiel joiner Wade Bryce Bovey left the Dunedin District Court with a common conviction – albeit for a very uncommon crime – to his name.

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”One night me and a mate decided we’d take it to the pub,” he told the Otago Daily Times.

Prosecutor Sergeant Chris George explained to the court what ”it” meant. ”The picnic table is a wooden table with seats on both sides, a driver seat and controls that is on wheels, which is motorised by a 398cc engine,” he said. Drink-holders had also been installed. ”It’s quite the work of art,” said Sgt George, who handed the vehicle’s pictures to Judge Dominic Flatley.

”Indeed,” the judge said, looking at them.

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On January 27, a police patrol had seen Bovey and his friend pushing the strange contraption, which he had taken from a man in Christchurch. ”It didn’t have enough power to get up the hill,” Bovey explained, and he’d been sure the police would help him but instead they tested him for alcohol. The results showed he was over the limit and he was fine $750 and banned from driving any vehicle for 6 months.

Counsel Elliot Higbee said his client was far from a problem drinker and in fact was doing his best to get out of a bad situation. ”He has ceased associating with the type of people involved in operating motorised picnic tables while under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

A passing couple asked a question about the case. ”Picnic at yours?” they said.

Bovey’s answer?

”It was a bad idea getting it in the first place. I had my fun, got in trouble, sold it.”

”I sold it to a bunch of pissheads in Gore,” he said.