An insulin pump.
An insulin pump. Cordell Richardson

Diabetic teen drunk drove home to charge insulin pump

A GLADSTONE teen nearly three times over the alcohol limit decided to drive home after celebrating his birthday to charge his insulin pump, a court was told.

Ethan Drew Galpin pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of being in charge of a motor vehicle while over the middle alcohol limit and being the holder of a provisional licence at the time.

The Tannum Sands teen had been out celebrating his 18th  birthday in town with friends when he was seen by police getting out of car on March 30, 2019 about 12.33am.

The court was told Galpin was unsteady on his feet.

Officers approached and Galpin was required to give a blood alcohol sample. He returned a reading of .144 per cent.

Defence lawyer Kylie Devney said her client was a diabetic and, on that night made a "very poor choice".

"He had not intended to drive, he had arranged a lift but after leaving the licensed establishment the driver said they were no longer coming to get them," she said.

"He had no money for a cab and his insulin pump needed charging."

Ordinarily Galpin would hear the "warning beeps" of the pump when it was close to needing charging however the 18-year-old did not hear the alerts over the loud music.

"Once it goes flat he has about two hours before he is likely to need medical attention," Ms Devney said.

Acting Magistrate Athol Kennedy asked Ms Devney why he Galpin didn't go straight to hospital.

Ms Devney said her client's judgement was impaired by the amount of alcohol he drank.

Magistrate Kennedy told Galpin he "didn't do very well" planning his birthday.

"Your reading was just short of .15 per cent. I have no hesitation in saying you were under the influence. Because if you were over .15 per cent you would have been charged with driving under the influence," Magistrate Kennedy said.

"Not legally, but you were under the influence."

Magistrate Kennedy asked Galpin what his plans were for his next birthday.

"Not what I did for my 18th birthday," Galpin said.

Galpin was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for five months.

A conviction was recorded.



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