A truck-driver, travelling from Victoria, has avoided jail after crashing into a parked car in Goulburn then drinking and driving on the Hume Highway.
Troy Walker, 50, from Ferntree Gully, Victoria, was charged with high-range drink-driving and not giving particulars to another driver on November 25.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie told Goulburn Local Court that on August 31, 2020 Walker had consumed seven full-strength schooners of beer in Victoria before driving a heavy truck, carrying caravans, across the border into NSW. She said when Walker reached Goulburn he crashed into a parked car and failed to stop. Walker then drove to licensed premises in Goulburn where he consumed three more schooners of full-strength beer, before getting back into the truck.
The court heard from the magistrate that Walker then drove northbound along the Hume Highway before he was pulled over by police South of the Marulan Heavy Vehicle Checking Station. Walker returned a Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol reading of 0.178 after a police breath test. The maximum limit for someone driving a heavy vehicle is 0.02.
Solicitor Steward spoke in defence of his client. He urged the magistrate to consider a Community Corrections Order over full-time custody.
Mr Steward said since the incident Walker had joined Alcoholics Anonymous, was on a mental health care plan and had abstained from alcohol.
"[My client] is remorseful and acknowledged the effect of his actions," he said.
"An emphasis on rehabilitation is warranted."
Magistrate Beattie took Walker's early guilty plea into account. She said the defendant tested almost nine-times over the limit.
The magistrate said "the impact of drink-driving on the community is tragic, it is widespread and it is ongoing."
"People are still drink-driving, they are not getting the message."
The magistrate read sections of the facts aloud to the court. She said, according to the facts tendered to the court, Walker's manner of driving was described as "erratic" and he was "swerving left to right on occasion". The magistrate said Walker was also "slurring his words" and "smelt of intoxicating liquor" when police pulled him over. In addition, she said police checks had revealed the vehicle had been issued with two major Vehicle Defect Notices
"How you are still alive and didn't kill anyone is pure luck."
The magistrate decreed Walker serve his sentence in the community rather than in prison due to his "prospects of not re-offending".
Walker was sentenced to an 18-month Community Corrections Order, fined $1950 in total, and had his licence suspended for seven months.
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