December 20, 2012
A 58-year-old Kingaroy man who blew .22 after his ute ran off the D’Aguilar Highway near Moore on October 22 was warned by a magistrate today that he had only narrowly escaped being sent to jail.
Ronald Mark Adsett pleaded guilty to a high-range drink driving charge in Kingaroy Magistrates Court.
Police Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said Adsett’s Nissan Navara had ended up seven metres down an embankment and had sustained extensive damage.
Adsett, who was unrepresented, told the court he had been drinking at home when he was told his father had died. He had made an “alcoholic decision” to drive down to Kilcoy to his parents’ farm to support his mother and sisters.
“As it was, I disgusted them instead as I turned up in a police car,” Adsett said. “My parents are teetotallers so you can imagine the disgust they felt.”
Magistrate Mark Bucknall said it was lucky that no one had been hurt or killed in the incident.
Mr Bucknall said Adsett had been before the court three times previously on drink-driving charges, including on one occasion when he had recorded .243.
If the latest offence had occurred inside a five-year period, a mandatory term of imprisonment would have been imposed.
Mr Bucknall said he had been considering imprisonment anyway as the penalty must reflect the seriousness of the offence.
He placed Adsett on 12 months probation, ordered him to complete 80 hours of community service and a $700 Level II Driving With Care program, and disqualified him from driving for 30 months.
“If you go anywhere near a car in that time, you will go to jail,” Mr Bucknall warned.
* * *
A 44-year-old truck driver who decided to crack open a rum and cola as he waited during an extended traffic stoppage on the D’Aguilar Highway was fined $450 in Kingaroy Magistrates Court today.
Anthony John Towells pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge.
Police Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said Towells had been behind the wheel of a Mack prime-mover when he was breathtested at 6:00pm by Nanango police at Coolabunia on August 21.
Police had taken the opportunity afforded by the traffic hold-up to conduct random breath tests.
Solicitor Andrew Kelly, for Towells, said his client had left Wooroolin at 7:00am that day to take a trailer back to Brisbane. On the way back home, he had stopped at Wamuran to go to the toilet. He decided he may as well purchase something then to drink later at home.
However on the way back, he found the highway blocked just outside of Kingaroy.
“He believed he would be pulled up for some time. He made the very silly decision to have something to drink,” Mr Kelly said.
He said Towells was otherwise a very responsible road user with only two minor matters on his traffic history.
A lengthy period of disqualification could cause his employer to reconsider his position with them.
Magistrate Mark Bucknall said he accepted that it was out of character and had been a foolish mistake on Towells’ part.
“Temptation probably got the better of you when you were pulled up,” he said.
He also took into consideration that Towells had completed a Driving With Care program at his own expense.
He fined him $450 and disqualified him from driving for two months.
* * *
A 34-year-old man who “ran away” to Airlie Beach after being released from jail, failing to complete a probation order, was re-sentenced to three months’ jail in Kingaroy Magistrates Court today.
Jeffrey William Randall pleaded guilty to contravening a probation order.
Probation and Parole Officer Ms Libby Bateman asked that Randall also be re-sentenced on the original offence, which was possession of 6.1g of cannabis.
She said Randall had failed to report on eight occasions after being released from an original two-month sentence, and the Corrective Services Department had had no contact with him since February 2009.
Mr Mark Werner, for Randall, said his client had “run away” from his old life to get himself sorted out.
He now had a changed attitude and a maturity that was previously lacking.
“He had just got out of jail and did not want to go back. He buried himself in work. He hasn’t had any illicit drug use for many years now, he lives with his family and does not even drink alcohol,” Mr Werner said.
“He handed himself in. He wishes to be clear of this today.”
Magistrate Bucknall fined Randall $500 for breaching the order, which he converted to 23 hours community service via a fine option order.
On the original drugs charge, he resentenced Randall to three months jail, wholly suspended for 18 months.