Boozers continue to run gauntlet

MACLEAN Local Court was like Groundhog Day on Tuesday as defendant after defendant appeared on drink-driving charges.

There was a pensioner caught drink-driving twice in a few hours; a 22-year-old careering in his vehicle onto the wrong side of the road, and a council worker who skidded his car into a telegraph pole.

Out of 65 people appearing on Tuesday, 28 were facing drink-driving charges.

After sentencing many of the offenders, Magistrate Kim Pogson told a defendant he was sick of people in country areas continuing to drink-drive.

“It's simple: If you're going to drink, then leave the car at home,” he said.

Mr Pogson said the defendants were wasting the court's time by asking for leniency because they needed a driver's licence for work. He said they should have thought of that before they got behind the wheel. Most people did need a licence and it was not factored in the sentence, he said.

  •  Daryl Robert Nicholls, of Palmers Island, was charged twice for high-range drink-driving.

The 57-year-old pensioner was pulled over for a random breath test a month ago on Freeburn Street, Yamba. It was 10.45pm and Nicholls had been drinking.

He was taken to Yamba Police Station, where he was found to be three times over the legal alcohol limit. Nicholls was charged with high-range PCA and had his licence suspended.

After leaving the station, Nicholls went back to his car with the intention of moving it to a safer location.

What he didn't realise was that police were watching him.

He was charged a second time for high-range drink-driving and also for driving while suspended.

Nicholls was fined $4000, ordered to enter into a 12-month good behaviour bond, and disqualified from driving until March 2014.

  •  Scott Andrew Bultitude, of Townsend, was driving two friends on Woombah Road, Maclean, before Christmas when he lost control of his car and skidded into a telegraph pole.

The 28-year-old Clarence Valley Council worker told the court he had stopped drinking an hour before the accident.

Bultitude was found to be three times over the alcohol limit, leading police to charge him with high-range PCA.

The magistrate told Bultitude he was lucky no-one was seriously injured in the crash.

Bultitude was given a nine-month suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for three years.

  •  Tyson Joshua Flavel, of Gulmarrad, was charged with high-range drink-driving after police saw his vehicle cross double lines as it veered onto the wrong side of the road in Yamba soon after midnight last February. His blood alcohol level was recorded as 0.220 - more than four times the legal limit.

The 22-year-old was given a 12-month suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for three years.

“ If you're going to drink, then leave the car at home.”

- Magistrate Kim Pogson


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