Big night of ex­cess ends in court date

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - An­drea Falvo

A 23-YEAR-old man who passed out in the back of a po­lice ve­hi­cle after he was caught driv­ing al­most five times over the le­gal al­co­hol limit and al­most 20km over the speed limit, has been placed on a com­bined pro­ba­tion and community ser­vice or­der.

Lester John Phillip Ri­ley ap­peared in the Ma­reeba Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day, plead­ing guilty to one count each of drive un­der the in­flu­ence, dis­obey­ing the speed limit and driv­ing with­out red P plated fit­ted.

Prose­cu­tor Sergeant Karen Equinox told the court po­lice had been con­duct­ing pa­trols be­tween Ku­randa and Koah when they recorded a ve­hi­cle trav­el­ling 119km/h in the 100km/h zone.

She said po­lice saw the ve­hi­cle veer from side to side and speed up then slow down.

When pulled over, po­lice no­ticed Ri­ley to be ex­tremely drunk and smell of liquor.

Checks showed he held a P1 li­cence but did not have any red P plates dis­played on the car.

Sgt Equinox said po­lice then con­ducted a road­side breath test where Ri­ley re­turned a read­ing of 0.240 per cent, the high­est read­ing that can be recorded on the breathal­yser.

As a re­sult he was placed in the back of the po­lice ve­hi­cle, where he then passed out and was un­able to be wo­ken by of­fi­cers.

Po­lice con­tacted the am­bu­lance who trans­ported Ri­ley to the hos­pi­tal and a blood test showed he had an al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion of 0.289 per cent.

When spo­ken to, Ri­ley said he couldn’t re­mem­ber what he had been drink­ing.

So­lic­i­tor Dave An­der­son told the court Ri­ley had at­tended a party and it was “ex­tremely se­ri­ous of­fences and Mr Ri­ley re­alises that now”.

Mag­is­trate Tom Braes said Ri­ley’s of­fended war­ranted a cus­to­dial sen­tence given his man­ner of driv­ing and his al­co­hol read­ing.

He dis­qual­i­fied Ri­ley from hold­ing a li­cence for two years.

Mr Braes also is­sued a com­bined 18-month pro­ba­tion or­der and 100-hour community ser­vice or­der, which must be com­pleted within 12 months.

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