Prison threat for drink-driver

A GYMPIE man who has never held a licence and has no traffic history appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday to answer two charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol and two driving without a licence.

Alan Ray Collins, 43, of Lawrence St, pleaded guilty to driving with a blood-alcohol content of .263% at Kinbombi on December 31 and .235% on January 1 at Bells Bridge.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said a second breath test at the police station on January 1 showed the reading at .198%.

The court heard a medical condition prevented Collins from holding a licence and that his mate, a passenger in the car, was also intoxicated and did not want to drive because he did not want to lose his licence.

"He (mate) told the defendant he could not lose his licence because he did not have one," Snr Const Manns said.

She said Collins' behaviour was "absolutely reckless" especially on a highway over the Christmas / New Year period and submitted he be given probation so he could get help to rehabilitate and also a suspended prison sentence so he would not be tempted to drive again.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told Collins if he'd been in an accident and someone had lost their life, that would a life sentence for him too.

"It takes one to one-and-a-half seconds to perceive a problem and between one-and-a-half and two seconds to respond," she said, adding those times change when you are alcohol impaired.

For the first charge Collins was disqualified from driving for 21 months and ordered to complete 100 hours community service which would equate to about $2000.

He was also placed on probation for two years and sentenced to two months jail suspended for two years.

Gympie Times


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