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All Black Alatini on drink driving charge
January 17, 2000

Otago Highlanders and All Black centre Pita Alatini will appear in the Otahuhu District Court on February 15 on charges of driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving.He is believed to have been stopped by police over the weekend driving with more than twice the legal alcohol breath limit.

The 23 year old Alatini had an outstanding Super 12 in 1999, forcing his way into the All Black squad and winning his first cap in the Wellington demolition of the French, 53-7.

At the World Cup he was not a first choice, but played in the pool match against Italy at Huddersfield and the third place match against South Africa in Cardiff.He is an exciting, well balanced runner, full of attacking flair and a solid defender. Super 12 2000 will be an important season for him as he seeks to secure his All Blacks place.

NZRFU Chief Executive David Rutherford said it was difficult to comment while the case was in front of the court and very difficult to predict what, if any, further punishment the rugby union might impose should Alatini be convicted. However, he did stress that it was possible that the details of any punishment could be made public.

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