A man has narrowly avoided going to jail after a drink driving incident in which another man jumped onto his car and fell off as he drove away.
That man hit his head heavily on the road.
“It was a very serious offence that could have ended in tragedy,” said Magistrate Geraldine Beattie in sentencing the driver in Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday.
She wanted to send a message to the community that drink-driving was a dangerous activity that could have serious consequences.
Zane Ian Kaye, 21, of Goulburn, was convicted of mid-range drink-driving when he appeared in court.
He also pleaded guilty to driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle, and being a motorbike rider without a helmet and being an unlicensed class C driver for a separate offence.
Police facts tendered in court said that on July 16, Kaye was at a party consuming a large amount of alcohol with friends. In the early hours of the morning, an argument broke out between Kaye and another person.
Kaye left and headed towards a vehicle parked a short distance away and attempted to get in.
Another person tried to stop Kaye from driving because of his alcohol consumption. Police said Kaye pushed this person away and got into the car and started the ignition.
The other person stepped back; Kaye turned the steering wheel to full left and reversed from the driveway at speed; the front of the vehicle collided with the left leg of the person standing; and they were thrown into a nearby tree, the police facts said.
Kaye continued reversing out of the driveway and onto the roadway when another person approached the vehicle and punched the nearside windscreen. This person then jumped onto the back of the vehicle and climbed onto its roof, they said.
Police said Kaye then accelerated in the car, causing the person on the roof to fall onto the roadway where his head impacted heavily with the concrete guttering.
He was believed to have been knocked unconscious and was bleeding from the left side of his head.
“Kaye drove back and alighted from the vehicle,” the police report read, “saying words to the effect of ‘Is he dead? Is he dead?’”
Another person said: “No, he is not, but you have hurt him.”
“The accused has gone to into a frenzied panic, returned to the vehicle, and drove off,” police facts said.
At 3.05am, police and an ambulance arrived and attended to the injured.
The man on the road was transferred to Goulburn Base Hospital by ambulance.
The other person was taken to the hospital by family.
Kaye returned to the scene on foot and was breath-tested, which produced a positive reading.
He was arrested and taken to Goulburn Police Station.
A breath analysis at the station revealed an alcohol reading of 0.143.
In court, Magistrate Beattie said she had heard submissions for Kaye’s defence previously and was to sentence him today.
In a clear sign that a message needed to be sent out to the community to denounce such behaviour, Magistrate Beattie read out in open court what happened that night.
“In the early hours of the morning (on July 16) after consuming an unknown number of [alcoholic] shots at a party and having an argument, you reversed out of a driveway at speed and made contact with another person’s leg,” Ms Beattie said.
“Another man goes after you and punches the windscreen and jumps on top of your car.
“You then accelerate with him still on the vehicle.
“He falls off and hits his head hard on the gutter.
“You are lucky there are no other charges here today because you drove off and then came back and asked if he was dead before driving off again.
“It is a very serious offence and I have to look at whether to send you to jail today.”
She said Kaye had since completed the Traffic Offenders Program and was genuinely remorseful for the events of that night.
“This is a very serious drink-driving offence,” she said.
“A few days before [July 13], the police saw you riding a motor bike without a helmet.
“The bike was also unregistered and uninsured.
“The alcohol reading that night was just out of high range, but that does not apply to you anyway, because you are a P-plate driver.”
She said Kaye had been deemed suitable for community service.
Magistrate Beattie sentenced Kaye to perform 225 hours of community service as a direct alternative to sending him to jail.
She also disqualified him from driving for nine months and fined him a total of $750.