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Enough is enough damage

The wreckage after the crash that killed Lance Fryer of Carterton in 2003. PHOTO/FILE

Petition demands action on repeat drink-drivers

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
[email protected]

The sister of Carterton man Lance Fryer, who died in a horrific car crash in June 2003, is demanding harsher penalties for repeat drink-drivers.

Fryer was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his friend, Gavin Hawthorn, of Greytown, who was drunk at the time, and was responsible for three previous deaths that occurred while he was drunk behind the wheel.

Hawthorn’s vehicle was clocked going 167kmh not long before he lost control and smashed into a concrete pole in Greytown, narrowly missing a bus carrying schoolchildren.

He attempted to make it look as though Fryer, aged 34 then, had been driving.

Now 15 years after the crash that killed Fryer, his half-sister Sandy Dufty is pushing for a law change to stop recidivist drink-drivers from reoffending.

“There’s a lot of people out there that don’t give a damn about the law,” she said on Tuesday.

“They think it’s a joke – they think they’re above the law.”

She has launched a petition on the Parliamentary website calling for legislation that increases punishment for repeat drunk and disqualified drivers.

Hawthorn’s 12th drink-driving conviction last month in Porirua District Court prompted her action.

Dufty’s petition requests that fourth and subsequent offences result in significant prison terms and automatic enforcement of an alcohol interlock driving device preventing drivers with alcohol on their breaths from starting cars.

“Too many people are killed or injured by drivers who continue to drink and drive after several previous convictions, often while they are still disqualified as well,” her petition reads.

“This needs to change, and I feel one way we can stop this is to make it very clear that this behaviour is not acceptable by increasing the punishment so that it becomes something to be feared.

“Right now, I believe the current punishments are not strong enough to deter people.”

Hawthorn, 56, was sentenced to home detention, community work, and he lost his licence for two years, avoiding imprisonment despite him being charged with drink-driving for the 12th time.

Dufty said the actions of drink-drivers had far-reaching consequences.

“It affects the families, friends, and it has a roll-on effect that can affect generations to come.

“We’ve got to try and do something about it, we’ve got to try and help.”

People have until April 27, 2019, to sign the petition, which can be found on the New Zealand Parliament website.

Dufty and her mother, Jenny Fryer, of Carterton, will also have paper petitions for signing throughout Wairarapa and the North Island in the coming months.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Lance was/is my 1st cousin…
    We all played together, laughed together, got yelled at together 🙂 … imagined our life as grown ups together…
    Never once did we imagine there being no future, no life for Lance.
    That choice was stolen from our cousin…son..friend.
    The ill man is a thief who walks among us. … he lives his life…his example has not been to change, to remorse, to seek to better himself, or the lives of those he has stolen..oh no..he continues to steal more lives..he is ill.. Gravely ill..

  2. hawthorne should be left to rot in hell.hes nothing but a low life killer that treats the law as one big joke.i back the family of lance fryer repeat offenders like hawthorne should be locked up for life

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