An elite Wanaka snowboarder has appealed for a dismissal of his drink-driving conviction on the grounds it will impede his career in the sport.
Ronan Samuel Turner Thompson, 19, of Wanaka, admitted in the Queenstown District Court in May to driving with an excess breath alcohol level of 809mcg and refusing to accompany an officer.
He was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for eight months.
A High Court appeal for a discharge without conviction begun in August and resumed on Tuesday, before Justice Helen Cull.
The appeal in the Christchurch High Court was held via video link in Invercargill.
On October 13, 2018, Thompson was driving two passengers in Wanaka on a restricted license.
Crown prosecutor Sarah McKenzie says the offending was serious, that Thompson blew a high alcohol reading, was driving at a time of night his license did not allow and also carrying passengers when he was not allowed.
He was driving erratically and he ran off after the test, McKenzie says.
Defence counsel Tanya Surrey says the district court judge did not give enough weight to the mitigating factors of the incident or the consequences for Thompson’s career.
Surrey highlighted that entry into Canada would be particularly difficult for Thompson.
He has competitions and training camps in Canada in the next year, Surrey says.
Thompson would need to apply for temporary residency each time he wished to enter the country.
Thompson won the 2019 Europe/Oceania Junior Freeride snowboarding tour and and will need to go to Japan and the United States of America to train and compete.
Both countries also have visa restrictions for people with convictions.
Justice Cull reserved her decision.