A far-reaching tyranny
One has to feel sorry for the young policeman in this situation, but it is also an eloquent testimony to the far-reaching impact of dictatorial government.
A 56-year old woman who was born in South Africa, and had been in New Zealand for just six months, was pulled over and taken on board a police alcohol checkpoint bus--what is colloquially called a "booze bus."
The police who were running the operation were looking for people who were driving while over the limit, which in New Zealand is 80 mcg.
She was well under the limit, having a breath reading of only 24 mcg alcohol, but being pulled over by men in uniform, and then taken into an official vehicle, had such terrifying connotations for her that she collapsed and passed away.
At the inquest, the court heard the testing officer describe Ms Gilbertson as having been in a scared and panicked state. Her brother told the coroner that his sister would have found the breath test an unusual and intimidating situation. A pathologist told the court he believed the death was caused by a highly stressful situation coupled with an underlying heart condition.
The coroner has reserved his findings. It will be interesting to learn what he says.