New Zealand court fines US actor Chris Pine for drunk driving

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[March 17, 2014]  WELLINGTON (Reuters) U.S. film actor and "Star Trek" star Chris Pine pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court to drunk driving and was fined and disqualified from driving for six months, media reported on Monday.

Pine, 33, was charged after a party in the small South Island town of Methven, about 90 km (55 miles) southeast of Christchurch, at the start of the month to celebrate the end of filming on "Z for Zachariah".

Police said Pine gave a positive breath test when he was stopped after 3 a.m. and a subsequent blood test showed an alcohol level of 113 micrograms. The legal limit in New Zealand is 80 micrograms.

The actor's lawyer had asked for him to be discharged without conviction because a conviction would hurt his career and would be out of proportion to the offense, the Stuff website reported.

Judge Joanna Maze said Pine would be treated like any other offender and banned him from driving for six months, fined him NZ$400 ($340) and ordered him to pay NZ$93 in costs.

She accepted that Pine, who stood silently throughout the hearing, was remorseful, and had made a large donation to a New Zealand charity. Maze said she had taken into account his good record, as well as excessive media coverage of the event.

After the hearing, Pine, who starred as Captain Kirk in the most recent "Star Trek" movie, signed autographs before being driven away.

($1 = 1.1697 New Zealand dollars)

(Gyles Beckford)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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