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Local Magistrate teaches a drink driving lesson

A CROWD of drink drivers were given a technical explanation about the dangers of their actions in Gympie Magistrates Court last week.

Magistrate M. Baldwin, who was sentencing one offender, called in the line-up of drink drivers so they could all take heed of the message.

"Many people who are picked up for drink driving are able to drive," she told the assembly.

"But you've got to understand the importance of alcohol. Alcohol is a relaxant - it slows down the nervous system."

It normally takes two to three seconds for a message to get from your eyes to your brain to your feet or hands, the magistrate explained.

"If you are driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05, a person's reaction slows by about one second. For a reading of 0.1 it slows by two seconds and at 0.15 it slows by three seconds," she said.

She explained if driving at 60kmh you travel at 16.6m in one second; for 80kmh it is 22m and 100 kmh it is 25m.

She said adding one extra second to your reaction time could be the difference between an accident and a near miss, given the distance travelled in that one second.

"You simply can't respond in time to idiots on the road," she said.

The actions of Cooloola Cove man Wayne Danial Truss, 36, who was pleading guilty to driving just over the limit with a reading of .062 at Cooloola Cove, are what sparked the explanation in court.

The magistrate said it was regrettable that this was his second drink driving offence in under 12 months and banned him from driving for six months, also fining him $550.

The magistrate went on to sentence several drink drivers that day.

Topics:  gympie magisatrates court

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