A man has been jailed for repeat drink driving offences.
A man has been jailed for repeat drink driving offences. Max Fleet

Serial drink driver gave magistrate no other choice

A SERIAL drink driver who continued to drive while disqualified and failed to turn up to court dates has wound up behind bars.

Shane Enda O'Connor, 28, was living in Yamba working as a labourer on the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade when he was stopped by police for a random breath test on June 24 this year, where he returned a blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.114.

After failing to appear in Maclean Local Court over the charges, Magistrate Karen Stafford convicted O'Connor in his absence.

In Grafton Local Court, O'Connor's defence solicitor Peter Hunter said his client had made a mistake in reading his court date, and when he realised he handed himself in to Grafton police last week.

O'Connor was previously disqualified from driving after police stopped him at Camden on Anzac Day two years ago, when he returned a reading of 0.200.

O'Connor told police he drank 15 schooners between 2pm and 10.30pm.

In Picton Local Court, O'Connor was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond and his licence was disqualified, but just four months later he was again in Picton Local Court over a mid-range drink driving charge.

An off-duty police officer stopped O'Connor from leaving the scene after he crashed with a parked car in a carpark.

O'Connor gave a reading of 0.133, and was charged with mid-range drink driving and placed on another good behaviour bond and again disqualified from driving.

Despite Mr Hunter saying his client accepted he had a drinking problem and would take steps to address it, Ms Stafford said his repeated offences meant a full-time custodial punishment was required.

Ms Stafford sentenced O'Connor to eight months in prison, with a non-parole period of two months, and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.



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