Judge’s daughter done for drunk-driving

by NZ Lawyer30 Mar 2016
The eldest daughter of High Court judge Mark Woolford pleaded guilty to a drink driving charge last week after she was stopped by police and found to be driving at more than three times the legal breath-alcohol limit.

Amy Woolford, 22, blew a reading of 817 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when she was stopped on March 15. The legal limit is 250.

She was fined $800 and was banned for driving for six months, according to a report by the Otago Daily Times.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson reporte dly refused to pass questions onto the judge at the request of the NZ Herald and warned that it would be “highly inappropriate” to seek comment at the family’s home.

Justice Woolford, who has sat in the High Court in Auckland since 2010, was previously the second secretary to the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore and was the NZ representative to the Legal Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1985. He was a Crown prosecutor and partner at Meredith Connell before he was appointed to the bench in 2010.

The Otago Daily Times reported that Woolford has adjudicated several high-profile cases and was the judge who overturned the Maori King’s son’s discharge without conviction on a drink driving charge.

“I am not satisfied that a conviction for drink driving would meaningfully decrease his chances of becoming the next Maori King, or have any other consequence out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. A drink driving conviction is a black mark, but not an irredeemable one,” he said.