A man has avoided jail after he was charged with two high-range drink driving offences in the same day.
Kenneth Stewart Eccles, 48, of Windang Road, Windang, was convicted of two counts of high-range drink driving and one count of driving while visiting privileges withdrawn.
READ ALSO: More than ever, we need to ask R U OK?
Goulburn Local Court heard on September 9 that Eccles was first pulled over by NSW Police at 1:45pm on April 3, 2020 at Marulan where he was speeding at 140km/h in a 110km/h zone. He returned a Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) reading of 0.206 which was four times over the legal limit. Eccles was travelling from the ACT. His licence was suspended on the spot.
The court heard Eccles was pulled over again later that day at 5:45pm along the Illawarra Highway at Moss Vale. He returned a PCA reading of 0.240 - five times above the legal limit. Police said he was unsteady on his feet and had a strong scent of liquor. The court heard police confiscated Eccles' keys to prevent him from driving again.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie took Eccles' mental health and alcoholism issues into account.
She said he had a "horrific record for drink driving".
The court heard Eccles' alcoholism had become problematic in November, 2019 when he was diagnosed with mental health problems.
The magistrate said on that day Eccles was driving to visit a family member who had unexpected surgery.
"These are two very very serious driving offences," she said.
"[The first time you were pulled over] you'd clearly been made aware of what you were doing."
Magistrate Beattie said Eccles', who had served in the navy and fire brigade, had gone from someone who helped the community to someone who was "doing the opposite of that".
Eccles was disqualified from driving for nine months, put under a 13-month Intensive Corrections Order and fined $1200.