15 Mar 2011

Drink drive grandmother freed from prison

6:39 pm on 15 March 2011

An elderly drunk driver who killed a cyclist on a main highway near Wellington has been paroled, having served less than half her prison sentence.

In February last year, Alison Downer was jailed for two years and two months on a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol causing death.

Downer had a breath alcohol reading of almost twice the legal limit when she ran into cyclist Frank van Kampen on State Highway 1 near Te Horo in September 2009.

The 72-year-old has now completed the Drug Treatment Programme, on which she was said to be responsible and compliant.

Ms Downer has told the Parole Board she has no excuses for the killing and has vowed never to drive again.

Ms Downer was freed from prison on 23 February on five special parole conditions that include drug and alcohol counselling.