Serial drink driver reoffends after sarcastic text from ex
A DRUNK, disqualified and dangerous driver caught behind the wheel at Rainbow Beach blamed his behaviour on a sarcastic "divorce anniversary” message from his ex-wife.
Southside man Mark Alexander O'Hanlon, 44, registered a blood-alcohol reading of .165 when he was busted driving his Hyundai sedan dangerously at the Rainbow Beach Shopping Centre car park on September 2 last year.
O'Hanlon pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court this week to dangerous operation of a vehicle while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, driving under the influence of liquor and driving while disqualified by a court order, but said he only decided to drink after receiving the text message.
Representing himself, O'Hanlon told the court he was "remorseful” for his actions.
"I got a text message from my ex-wife who I've got two kids (with) who I don't see (and) pay child support to,” he said. "She sent me a message going 'Happy 10th divorce anniversary', so that sort of got me going for that day.”
Magistrate Chris Callaghan disagreed with O'Hanlon's claim that he "rarely” drank, citing his extensive history of DUI charges.
"You've obviously got a problem with alcohol,” Mr Callaghan said.
"I doubt whether you rarely drink because this is the third time you've been convicted of driving under the influence of liquor ... in five years.”
"You say you drank on this occasion because you got a sarcastic text message from the mother of your children. That's no reason to drink to the extent you did (and) no reason to get behind the wheel of a car.”
Mr Callaghan sentenced O'Hanlon to a year's jail but released him immediately on parole so he could care for his ill mother. He was disqualified from driving for five years, with no possibility to re-apply for his licence until 2021.