A drink-driver who crashed into two parked vehicles and kept driving for 92 metres, pushing one along the road with the nose of his car, has avoided jail.
Sheldon Andrew Wade, 48, of Pomeroy, appeared before Goulburn Local Court on September 29. He previously pleaded guilty to high-range drink-driving.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie said the incident occurred in April this year after Wade spent the afternoon and evening drinking at a licensed premises in Goulburn. She said he consumed seven to eight schooners of beer and two or three nips of bourbon before deciding to drive.
She told the court Wade was driving at approximately 80km/h along Addison Street, a 50 zone residential area.
The magistrate said at approximately 10.40pm Wade crashed into a motorbike parked on the side of the road and dragged it 21 metres without stopping. She said the motorbike dislodged from under the car before Wade crashed into another parked vehicle.
Magistrate Beattie told the court Wade continued driving and pushed the vehicle with the nose of his car for 18 metres on the road. She said the distance from the first crash until stopping after the second crash was 92 metres.
She said when police attended the scene they found an alcoholic drink in the stubby holder of Wade's vehicle and an open case of beer in the back.
The magistrate said Wade sustained fractured ribs, a broken sternum and cuts and bruises to his arms. He was admitted to hospital for four days.
Magistrate Beattie said Wade returned a Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol reading of 0.204, more than four times over the legal limit.
"This is one of the most serious [drink driving] offences I've seen and I've seen a lot of drink driving offences," she said.
In sentencing, the magistrate compared photos of the incident, tendered to the court as evidence, to crime scene photographs.
She told the court Wade had not eaten since 4.30am that morning, before he finished a night shift at 6am. Wade then slept about six hours before he went out to drink. She said Wade intended to drive home which was 25km away
Solicitor Rod Boyd argued his client had shown remorse and was committed to weekly counselling for alcoholism.
"It is perhaps a miracle no one was killed in this accident," he said.
He said his client was paying off damage to one of the vehicles in installments.
Mr Boyd told the court Wade had been drinking very heavily over the past 12 months and had rejected help until after this incident.
"[Wade] wasn't coping with stress from work, struggling with finances," he said.
"He wasn't coping with life and turned to the drink to deal with it."
The solicitor argued Wade had slowly decreased his alcohol consumption as per medical advice after the offence, and hadn't drunk alcohol at all since mid-August.
"He wants to have a positive impact on the community," Mr Boyd said.
"The community would be better served by his rehabilitation [rather than imprisonment]."
Wade was sentenced to a 12-month Intensive Corrections Order with conditions to abstain from alcohol and continue to engage in counselling and 250 hours of community service. His licence was disqualified for eight months with a two-year interlock order.
The magistrate warned Wade "came very very close to going to jail".
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