Six times over the legal limit

A SUNSHINE Coast man, caught driving on the Bruce Highway near Gladstone while six times over the legal limit, had been trying to drive from Gympie to Caloundra, a court heard on Monday.

Jarrod Pearce, 31, of Warana, was jailed for 18 months and will be off the road for five years after he pleaded guilty to several charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court.

The charges included dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed driving, drink driving and possession of a dangerous drug.

The court was told that Pearce had consumed a two-litre carton of wine before getting into his car in Gympie.

He also drank as he drove to Gladstone, in Central Queensland, more than 300km away by road.

At the time of the offences, Pearce had an outstanding offence from September 13.

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Damian Carroll told Pearce he was unimpressed by his responses to the charges.

“You have a terrible driving history,” Mr Carroll told him.

He said Pearce had three previous convictions for disqualified driving – in 2005, 2004, 2002 – as well as two convictions for unlicensed driving, four convictions for unlawful use of a motor vehicle, a conviction in 2008 for driving without due care and attention and a range of drug convictions, totalling 13.

Mr Pearce recorded an illegal blood alcohol content of 0.169 in a previous drink-driving offence.

“The only thing in your favour was it did not rank a police pursuit,” Mr Carroll said.

Police intercepted Pearce on the Bruce Highway about 8.15am on Friday after receiving complaints from the public from 7.40am.

They had been told that a white Mitsubishi was being driven “all over the road”, on the wrong side of the road at blind spots and at excessive speed.

“That was the first Friday of the school holidays,” Mr Carroll said. “There was a lot of traffic on the road.”

Police alleged Pearce had driven 40km between the time of the first complaint and when he was stopped about 20km south of Miriam Vale.

They said when he was stopped, Pearce had extremely blood-shot eyes.

He had told them he was driving from Gympie to Caloundra.

Pearce recorded an illegal blood alcohol concentration of 0.329 and police allegedly found cannabis in his vehicle.

He was brought before a Gladstone court about five hours after he was arrested on Friday.

However, the magistrate refused to accept Pearce’s plea, because he appeared to be intoxicated still.

Monday, Mr Carroll said Pearce had consumed two litres of wine, starting at sunrise that morning, and was drinking while driving.

“You were clearly disorientated,” Mr Carroll said.

Pearce was sentenced to 18 months jail and was given a suspended sentence of two and a half years for disqualified driving.

Gympie Times


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