Sussex Inlet truck driver Paul Hammond was sentenced in court today after pleading guilty to a mid range drink driving offence.
The court heard Mr Hammond had left a barbecue at his Sussex Inlet home on the evening of July 9 to drive 500 metres down the road and collect his son from a friend’s house. He was noticed by police after pulling over on the wrong side of the road.
When police asked Mr Hammond if he had been drinking he admitted to consuming seven to eight cans of beer before getting behind the wheel. He told officers he would likely be over the limit.
Court documents revealed police had found Mr Hammond to be moderately affected by alcohol and slurring his words.
Mr Hammond’s lawyer told the court he had not been planning to drive and he was remorseful that he did not give it further thought.
She said he had driven for the comfort of his son on a cold winters night.
When handing down his sentence, magistrate Michael Stoddart said he found it “extraordinary” that Mr Hammond drove such a short distance.
“The risk is not getting caught, it is putting lives at risk,” said magistrate Stoddart.
“Drink driving is a serious matter.
“It would not be much consolation to an innocent person that you wanted to pick up your son on a cold night,” he said.
He went on to tell Mr Hammond about the “shocking” road toll in Australia and that alcohol is one of the main factors in road injuries.
“You ought to have known better,” magistrate Stoddart said.
Mr Hammond was fined $1000 and received a six month license suspension.
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