Dunedin woman claims man posed as sober driver, tried to assault her

A Dunedin woman is warning others to be careful after she says a man posed as her 'sober driver' and tried to assault her.

Dunedin Sober Drivers is a Facebook group in which local revellers organise lifts to get them around safely when they've been drinking.

Users will post requests for a ride or advertise their own driving services, usually for a small fee. There are similar groups for Auckland, Christchurch and other major centres.

The woman posted in the Dunedin group on Sunday morning with a chilling story about her experience the previous evening.

"Last night I was given a ride by a middle-aged slim Indian man claiming to be the guy I spoke to on here (he wasn't so don't have any more details) who ended up asking me for sex as payment," she wrote.

"[He locked] his doors and [tried] to touch/kiss me when I said no, please be super careful when getting a sober driver and triple check like I stupidly didn't!

"P.S. Please don't lecture me on my stupidity, I know I should have been extra cautious, just wanted to try make sure he doesn't do it to other girls!"

She says the car was a dark-coloured station wagon that looked similar to the car of the man she'd organised to pick her up. He was parked near Reading Cinemas at The Octagon, where her sober driver said he would be.

When she asked if he was her ride, the man said yes.

The woman's post has sparked debate in the group, with more than 50 comments on her post so far. While many were sympathetic to her plight, others say she should have known better than to get into a stranger's car without confirming their identity.

Those people have in turn been accused of victim-blaming.

"Getting into a person's car does not give him consent to grope or kiss her," one woman wrote.

"There's nothing to lecture you for," said another. "Women should not need to be more careful or take extra precautions. Men need to stop assaulting women."

The woman said she's only had good experiences with the sober driver group in the past, and that she intends to report Saturday's incident to police.

Police told Newshub they are unaware of the alleged incident.

"We encourage anyone who feels unsafe to contact Police and report the matter so it can be investigated thoroughly," a spokesperson said.

"When using a taxi or ride-sharing service we encourage the public to use reputable organisations that have security and safety protocols in place."


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