Probation help for alcoholic driver
GYMPIE magistrate Chris Callaghan yesterday offered help for an "alcoholic” man who lost his home as well as his vehicle in a crash near Kandanga early this year.
And he strongly criticised what he was told was the Gympie police practice of charging some drink drivers twice over the one course of conduct.
"They want to persecute your client to the ends of the earth it seems,” Mr Callaghan told solicitor Chris Anderson, who appeared on behalf of drink driver Jesse Roberts, 68.
Mr Callaghan also criticised Roberts for drink driving one day and repeating the offence at an apparently higher level within 24 hours.
Roberts pleaded guilty to driving in Main St, Kandanga on February 16, with a blood alcohol content of .135 per cent.
He also pleaded guilty to driving next day, while his licence was still suspended from the February 16 offence.
Roberts had crashed at the Kandanga-Mary Valley Rd intersection on February 17 and had shown a roadside alcohol reading of .18 per cent.
He had refused to supply a sample for formal analysis, an offence in itself.
But Mr Callaghan objected to the fact that it came with an additional charge of driving under the influence of liquor.
He said he disagreed with the Gympie police prosecuting practice of charging people twice for the one course of conduct.
Told that this was a standard practice, Mr Callaghan said: "I don't agree with that practice.”
He objected to one course of conduct resulting in two penalties, including two mandatory minimum licence disqualifications.
Police said Roberts became "hostile and abusive” with hospital staff when asked to provide a sample and used "a large amount of profanity”.
Mr Anderson said Roberts had a long term alcohol issue and had been told his body would "shut down” if he went cold turkey.
"It's clear you are an alcoholic and need help to get a bit more healthy than you are,” Mr Callaghan said, placing Roberts on 12 months probation.
He disqualified Roberts for three years and three months.