Drink-driver passed out while in custody
A GRAFTON man was lucky to escape with a fine and licence suspension after he attempted to drive through Grafton while more than four times over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Daniel Usher appeared in Grafton Local Court on Monday charged with high-range drink driving following an incident on May 14.
Defence solicitor Joe Fahey told the court the 26-year-old apprentice had spent the day playing golf at Grafton District Golf Club in South Grafton but remembered little of what happened after he left the club.
Mr Fahey said it was understood Usher had got in the car and proceeded to drive home but stopped a couple of houses short, apparently aware he was in no state to be driving.
Police located Usher inside the stationary vehicle on Turf St at about 8.25pm after they received phone calls from concerned community members who said the vehicle was "all over the road" and had almost crashed into Jacaranda trees on Pound St.
According to police facts the Grafton man was unable to communicate verbally and after refusing arrest was removed from the car by reasonable force.
While under observation in custody Usher lost consciousness and fell from a seat in the observation dock onto the ground.
He was transported to Grafton Base Hospital where a blood sample was taken for the purpose of blood alcohol analysis, as he was incapable of undergoing a test himself.
Results later showed a blood alcohol reading of 0.229, more than four times over the legal limit.
Mr Fahey said Usher was remorseful and concerned about the ramifications of his actions and realised the seriousness of the situation.
Taking into account his plea of guilty and the fact Usher enrolled himself in the traffic offenders program before appearing in court, Magistrate Robyn Denes said she accepted the incident as a mistake.
She noted that the reading of .229 was so high he was not in any position to make decisions at the time.
"You were lucky it didn't end worse," she said.
Usher was convicted and disqualified from driving for nine months, with an interlock device to be fitted for the following 24 months.
He was also fined $1500 and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.