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Gympie magistrate rebukes court room full of drink drivers

MORE than 30 drink and drug drivers were given a hard-hitting lecture about the dangers of driving under the influence in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.

"It must be a record," Magistrate M. Baldwin said as she looked around at the defendants, which included men and women of varying ages and backgrounds.

"Most people get in a car because they feel okay," she said.

"Alcohol is a relaxant.

"Our nervous system is slowed down by alcohol - it has a big impact on reaction time."

Older people, provisional drivers, and parents with children made up some of the offenders, who had a variety of reasons for their behaviour, many believing they were "right to drive."

Of the 15 drivers convicted, two had driven with a blood alcohol limit three times the legal limit and four were more than twice the limit.

Carters Ridge man Peter Ian Scott, 47, was busted by police after he drove with an alcohol limit of 0.156 in Gympie, and Megan Louise Rutter, 29, drove over the limit on 0.15, which Mrs Baldwin described as an "appalling" reading.

Corey Matthew James, 22, of Sexton, drove with a 0.136 level at Gympie, Jai Joshua Helling, 20, of Burnside, did a lap of the Rainbow Beach esplanade on his motorbike at a 0.106 level and Gympie man Sasikaran Nadarasa, 27, was picked up with a level of 0.103 when driving the morning after drinking.

Southside man Wilson Lloyd Birch, 30, who had breath-tested himself on a breathalyser that turned out to be faulty, was very remorseful for driving with a 0.126 limit the morning after Anzac Day drinks.

The magistrate explained to the court it takes a minimum of three seconds to react to something.

She said alcohol slows down the reaction, where a blood alcohol level of 0.05 equates to about one more second.

"It doesn't seem very much, but every second you are driving you lose 25m," Mrs Baldwin said.

"The roads are a jungle.

"There are a lot of stupid people on the road.

"Don't think 'I'm right to drive?' think 'am I going to be alert enough to cope with the other idiots?'."

Not all cases were dealt with; some were adjourned.

Gympie Times

Topics:  drink driving, gympie magistrates court



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