An Auckland man who was accused of driving affected in the wake of drinking kava has got his case excused.
Kamlesh Kumar whose age was 52 of Mt Wellington, was pulled over by police at 2.11 am on October 14, 2018, on the southern motorway after he was seen weaving in his path.
As per court reports, Kumar was pace checked at 119 kilometers per hour prior to police has pulled him over.
He has got passed out in the breathalyzer test, but yet he was given orders to perform an obligatory impairment test, of which he has got passed out in the eye movement test “with flying colors”.
Notwithstanding, he has got failed the walking and balancing test.
Kumar conceded to police that he has consumed around five or six small bowls of kava at a social gathering. He also told that he is taking an unknown prescription medication and had sickness in this legs because of suffering from a back problem.
Kava, which is a traditional Pacific beverage, isn’t recorded as a controlled or qualifying drug under the Land Transport Act. However, if kava makes a driver incapable of having control of his vehicle, it is considered a drug.
Judge Charles Blackie at Manukau District Court, excused the charge this year on November 20 administering there were different elements that might have influenced Kumar’s driving, including his clinical issues.
Kumar turns out to be just the second person all over New Zealand who got excused from the charge of driving affected by kava.
Only three people in New Zealand have been accused of the offense. The first being Porirua man Leameitonga Tupou in 2000, the charges of which have got dismissed after seven years.
Palmerston North man Aho Ioane has become the first person who was convicted in June 2007.
Judge Blackie, in his decision, has given the statement that given that the impairment test and the observation of the enforcement officers were the only proof for supporting “driving while unfit”. This was the reason that he was left with reasonable doubt and the prosecution could also prove his case against Kumar.
He said Kava is an exceptional drug as it is both an unregulated and legal drug. Unlike alcohol or other controlled substances, there are no limits for the consumption of Kava before going to drive a vehicle.
He also said that the amount of kava that could be consumed by a person for affecting him and making him incapable of having proper control on his vehicle would be dependent on a huge number of factors which are inclusive of the strength of the brew, and another medication that might be interacted with kava and his pre-existing health conditions.
Judge Blackie said in his statement that there were no measurable standards available for the assessment of the amount of kava a person would require to consume before it becomes unlawful for that person for driving.
Lawyer of Kumar Jared Moss said that police had to give evidence that his client was extremely affected by kava that he has become unfit for having control of his vehicle.
He said, as his client has got failed the impairment test, it could not prove that he is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kava Driving Charges
Tupou who was an associate of the printer was stopped for supposedly driving sporadically on the northern motorway on Wellington after he has drunken six-quarter-full coconut half-shells of Kava in 2000.
He has got passed out in a breath test but police have noticed that he was having bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a smell of solvents.
The charge on his has got excused by the judge because the judge said that there were other factors that were the reason for this inconsistent driving which were inclusive of fatigue and his suffering from gout.
His slurred speech might have been because of the inability of the arresting officer of his Tongan accent.
Palmerston North man Aho Ioane has got entered the record books in June 2007 as the first person to be convicted for driving being affected by kava.
He has made it safely to his home from Church, but an eyewitness has given the report that his car was weaving across the road. His speech was slurred, he was having bloodshot eyes, and was unstable on his feet.
Ioane has told to police that he had been drinking Tongan Kava before church.
Doctors have found in their test that he was affected by drugs, so he was not capable of driving properly.
As a result, he was punished with 50 hours of community work and a suspended license of six months.