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Drink-driver's swine flu defence rejected

Published: 8:18AM Tuesday July 28, 2009 Source: NZPA

A drink-driver woman who claimed that swine flu made her body more susceptible to alcohol has lost her case.

Deborah Karen Graham, 48, was convicted of drink-driving when she appeared in Queenstown District Court on Monday, The Southland Times reported.

Graham was randomly breathalysed on July 4 and blew 530mcg, 130mcg over the legal limit. She told police she had drunk three glasses of wine.

Defence counsel Nicole Murphy told Judge Kevin Phillips that Graham had been ill.

"She had swine flu. She was just getting over it...and she thinks because she had the flu (the alcohol) may have hit her harder.

"She is highly embarrassed and remorseful about her actions."

But Judge Phillips commented: "Swine flu seems to be the 'in' submission for everything at the moment. I reject all that."

Graham was fined $550 and disqualified from driving for six months.