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



Book now as long weekend visitor invasion makes for tourism hot spots across Gympie region.

ON THE ROAD: Motoring families descend on Gympie Region for the long weekend.

GYMPIE region is a holiday hot spot this school holiday season

The stay-at-home mum's domestic workout

Stay at Home mum

JODY Allen says you don't need a gym to keep fit and healthy

Only a few days to go before Heart of Gold Fest kicks off

SPECIAL PREVIEW: Heart of Gold Artistic Director Emily Avila at the Heritage Theatre in the Gympie Civic Centre.

PREPARATIONS are well under way for the Heart of Gold Film Festival.

Local Partners

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Builder and roofer are cleared in faded roof case

CLEARED: a Gympie builder has been cleared of blame for sunscreen damage to a roof.

Gympie builder cleared over sunscreen damage claim

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Gympie Century 21 owner forges his own path

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS: Billy Mitchell (right) with Queensland franchise manager at Century 21, Glenn Stanton.

It's been a meteoric rise over the past few years for Billy Mitchell

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high