A high-range drink-driver has avoided jail after a holiday on the South Coast ended with his car stuck in a culvert.
Benjamin Michael Cheeseman, 45, of Wheatley Ave, Goulburn, appeared before Goulburn Local Court on March 17. He faced a charge of high-range drink-driving at Batemans Bay on January 4, 2021.
Solicitor Tim McGrath said his client had immediately entered a plea of guilty.
He said Cheeseman made an "admission he drank 20 schooners of alcohol" that day. Mr McGrath told the court his client walked to and from a licensed establishment. He said when Cheeseman returned to a holiday house where he was staying, he played loud music. The solicitor said as a result the accused was asked to leave the premises.
Mr McGrath said his client then left in a vehicle to find accommodation for the night. The solicitor presented to the court that Cheeseman became lost, and while he attempted a three-point-turn, stuck in a culvert on a dirt road.
Mr McGrath said the incident was a "circumstance of [Cheeseman's] own folly".
"He accepts he should not have been driving."
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie took Cheeseman's subjective case and early plea into account.
She said he returned a prescribed concentration of alcohol reading of 0.163 - more than three times the legal limit.
The magistrate told the court the physical conditions including the dirt road, fog and early hours of the morning would have made it "hard to see".
"You had absolutely no regard for anyone else's safety when you got into the car that night," Magistrate Beattie said.
"You responded [to being asked to leave] not by sleeping in the ute or camping out on the grass, but by deciding to drive."
Cheeseman was sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order, 200 hours community service and disqualified from driving for seven months.
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