High range drink driver narrowly avoids jail time

A TIERI man narrowly avoided jail time after high range drink driving for the second time in three years.

Travis John Hammond pleaded guilty at Emerald Magistrates Court on November 16 to driving under the influence of liquor.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said police responded to reports of a car driving erratically on the Gregory Hwy about 5.45pm on August 23.

About 6pm, police intercepted a black Holden commodore sedan on Clermont St, driven by Hammond.

He returned a positive roadside breath test and later recorded a high Blood Alcohol Content reading of .202, more than four times the legal limit.

The court heard he had previous drink driving convictions, with some high readings and some low readings.

Hammond, a truck driver in the mines, told the court he hadn’t had a drink since the time of the offence,

“My wife was going to leave me if I didn’t stop drinking and I haven’t had a drink since,” he said.

Hammond said the couple was expecting a baby in January, and he would probably lose his job after losing his licence.

“It’s no one else’s fault but my own,” he said.

Magistrate Ron Muirhead told Hammond he would face jail time if he were to get behind the wheel of a car during the period of disqualification.

“When you keep appearing, the court has to consider other penalties, including imprisonment,” Mr Muirhead said.

“You wont be imprisoned today but enough is enough.”

Due to his difficult personal circumstances and already being without a licence for three months, Hammond was fined $2000 and disqualified from driving for 12 months. The conviction was recorded.

“If you drive in the next 12 months, with your record, you’ll be facing imprisonment,” Mr Muirhead said.