Drink driv­ing at 0.232

Mag­is­trate blasts driver who was more than four times le­gal limit

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Monique Pre­ston monique.pre­ston @whit­sun­day­times.com.au

“THIS is ex­actly the type of of­fend­ing that leads to fa­tal­i­ties on our roads.”

They were the words of mag­is­trate Si­mon Young as he sen­tenced Glen Al­lan Priest, 57, to four months in prison with im­me­di­ate pa­role on Mon­day for drink driv­ing at more than four times the le­gal limit.

Mr Young was scathing of Priest who also has a court driv­ing record in four dif­fer­ent Aus­tralian states and a ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing prison sen­tences in two states for high range drink driv­ing.

“Your man­ner of driv­ing was dan­ger­ous. This is a poor traf­fic his­tory,” Mr Young said..

“You have not learnt any les­son it seems.

“You get ab­so­lutely rot­ten drunk and then de­cide to go and visit some mates in Dingo Beach.”

Priest, who lived in the Whit­sun­days, but is in the process of mov­ing to Mackay, pleaded guilty in Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day to charges of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and driv­ing with­out a li­cence.

Prose­cu­tor Robert Beamish told the court Proser­pine Po­lice had pulled a car over for speed­ing on Shute Har­bour Rd at Mt Mar­low on Oc­to­ber 28. The court was told Priest pulled up be­hind the stopped car, and po­lice di­rected him to con­tinue driv­ing.

How­ever, when he did not do so and po­lice went to speak to him they found Priest “highly in­tox­i­cated”, Mr Beamish said.

The court heard, when breath tested, Priest recorded a blood al­co­hol con­tent read­ing of 0.232.

Po­lice also dis­cov­ered Priest did not have a cur­rent driver’s li­cence as it had been dis­qual­i­fied for pre­vi­ous drink driv­ing, Mr Beamish said.

Priest told po­lice at the time that he was look­ing for the Dingo Beach turn-off, Mr Beamish said.

He also told po­lice at the time he had only had four cans of heavy beer – a state­ment the mag­is­trate held no re­gard for, or be­lief in.

“I do not ac­cept you only had four beers,” Mr Young said.

Priest’s so­lic­i­tor, Rose­mary Var­ley, said her client was go­ing to Dingo Beach for the day and was stay­ing overnight with friends.

She ad­mit­ted he had traf­fic of­fend­ing in sev­eral Aus­tralian states, but said the last one was nine or 10 years ago.

Ms Var­ley said she had asked her client why had had driven that day, and his an­swer was that “he does not know”.

“It’s more than a fool­ish or stupid de­ci­sion,” she said.

Mr Young sen­tenced Priest to four months in prison, with im­me­di­ate pa­role re­lease, for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

“My ex­pec­ta­tion in pa­role is that there will be some fo­cus on al­co­hol coun­selling,” Mr Young said.

Priest’s driver’s li­cence was also sus­pended for 15 months for drink driv­ing and a fur­ther three months for driv­ing with­out a li­cence.

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