Christopher Raymond Appleton was in the driver’s seat talking to someone at 2.15am when police saw the vehicle with its brake and headlights on in Arthur Street, Yeppoon.
Christopher Raymond Appleton was in the driver’s seat talking to someone at 2.15am when police saw the vehicle with its brake and headlights on in Arthur Street, Yeppoon.

Air-con lands driver in strife

HE was drunk and said he didn't intend to drive, but sitting in the car with the air-conditioner on brought about his undoing.

Christopher Raymond Appleton was in the driver's seat talking to someone at 2.15am when police saw the vehicle with its brake and headlights on in Arthur Street, Yeppoon.

They activated their emergency warning lights and approached - Appleton thought they needed him to move the car so he drove it forward a short distance.

The 35-year-old electrician at the mines submitted to a random breath test and was taken back to the police station for further testing.

As a result of his behaviour police placed him in a holding cell where he became extremely aggressive and abusive towards them.

On that morning of October 25, Appleton had recorded a blood alcohol reading of .179.

He pleaded guilty on Thursday in Yeppoon Magistrates Court to drink-driving.

The court heard that Appleton had five pages of traffic history but none of that was for this type of offence.

A solicitor for Appleton said he'd been playing golf during the day and had consumed several drinks before attending a hotel for more beverages with friends.

"He wasn't intending to drive, he stated he was sitting in the car talking to his friend," the lawyer said.

"He turned the air-conditioner on and obviously the engine was running and so he's committed an offence being in charge of the vehicle.

"It is the case that police turned on their lights and he believed he was required to move the vehicle so that only compounded the problem when he then drove it forward 20 metres and police pulled in behind him."

Appleton admitted to being "a pain in the arse" to police at the station and apologised through his solicitor in court for that behaviour.

"He usually doesn't carry on in that manner, your honour," Appleton's solicitor said.

A reference from Appleton's employer was tendered in court. Due to his lengthy traffic history, Appleton was not able to apply for a restricted driver's licence and indicated he would now have to rely on friends to transport him to Blackwater where he works.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale fined Appleton $1050 and disqualified him from driving for eight months.