News

Drunk and drunker

A MAN caught drink driving two times in 10 hours fronted Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday and found the silver lining to his predicament.

Norman Denis Furlong, 42, of Narangba, pleaded guilty to two counts of drink driving and a single count of driving on a suspended licence.

The court heard on December 20, at 9.12am, police stopped Furlong on the Bruce Hwy at Takilberan and he returned an alcohol reading of .068.

He was charged with drink driving and his licence suspended for 24 hours while arrangements were made for his car to be towed.

Less than 10 hours later, at 6.23pm, police communications received a call from a member of the public concerned about a driver heading south on the Bruce Hwy, near Gympie, who was driving erratically.

That driver was Furlong who again was stopped by police and when breath tested, returned a reading of .265 - more than five times the legal limit.

Police checks revealed he had earlier been charged with drink driving and was driving on a suspended licence.

The charges were transferred to Gympie Magistrates Court for hearing and Furlong's lawyer described his client's circumstances as "unusual".

The lawyer said it was unusual for a mature man to be before the court on serious matters and the seriousness was not lost on his client.

While younger repeat offenders became accustomed to attending court on a regular basis, Furlong had no previous exposure to the courts and had been suffering anxiety, the lawyer said.

Furlong had lost weight from the stress and anxiety, worrying about the court's attitude to his offending.

The lawyer said his client was taking an alcohol inhibitor drug to manage his drinking and had reached out on his own accord to seek professional help.

Furlong's behaviour was described as "out of character" and he was remorseful and determined to seize the opportunity as "a turning point in life".

Magistrate Baldwin told Furlong he had to manage his alcoholism, describing it as a disease.

"It's a difficult issue and I have to be cruel to be kind," she said.

Magistrate Baldwin said balancing punishment was difficult given Furlong's work situation as a fly-in fly-out worker in the mines.

She said it "was with some trepidation" Furlong avoided probation as she disqualified him from driving for two years and two months.

Furlong was fined $2780, referred to SPER, and convictions were recorded.

He left the court promising Magistrate Baldwin he was glad he had been caught by police and would use his experience to turn his life around.

Gympie Times

Topics:  court, crime, dui




Looking after the community

Dr Tim Topalov, Dr Neil Halder and Dr Brian Maher at River Dental in Gympie.

Gympie's River Dental have been serving the community for 26 years.

Latest deals and offers

Pokemon Go: "Trading" on the horizon as game evolves

No Caption

Pokemon GO players will soon be able to trade with other trainers

Bindi Irwin: ‘I’ve lived 10 lives in one lifetime’

Bindi meets her fans.

SHE'S just turns 18 but Bindi's life has been full of experiences

Rockhampton cook through to MasterChef semi-final

FAMILY:MasterChef semi-finalist Harry Foster pictured with his mum Ria McClelland.

Harry Foster through to MasterChef semi-finals.

Pop icon and former Neighbours star buys into Byron

Singer Natalie Imbruglia. Supplied by Sony Music Australia.

Former actor turned pop singer joins Byron celebrity rush.

MASTERCHEF: Coast cooks to dominate finals

SO CLOSE: MasterChef's final four, from left, Matt Sinclair, Elise Franciskovic, Harry Foster and Elena Duggan. Elise’s elimination means now only the three Sunshine Coast contestants remain in the competition.

MasterChef finals will be mandatory viewing in three Coast homes

The best and worst bits of Splendour from our experts

The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night.

Glitter, fake marriages, see-through clothing and gorgeous weather

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles