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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Having battled PND four times, Mel says the secret is sleep

'I just thought, don’t all mothers get no sleep?’

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Love at first recital for Gympie's Tom and Shirley

WHITE WEDDING: The bridal party; Best man, Colin Venz, page boy Ian Walker, Tom Harris, Shirley Harries (Nee Walker), flower girl Robin Harris and bridesmaid Lola Walker. BELOW: Tom and Shirley Harris celebrating their 60th Wedding anniversary.

Tom and Shirley Harris celebrate 60 years of love together

Sprott family moving on from stainless steel business

The Sprott family (from left) Callum, Eric, Kayley, and Kiana, have sold the family business after 13 years

Local Gympie family sells business after 13 years

Wide Bay candidates: Why you should vote for me

Here's why you should vote for each of Wide bay's candidates

Latest deals and offers

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Concern over Smerdon Rd high-density development

Mick Curran talks about the community's concern over the project which was approved...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward