A boozy driver was spotted by police travelling down the middle of the road in his Holden Rodeo.
A boozy driver was spotted by police travelling down the middle of the road in his Holden Rodeo.

Boozy driver busted travelling down the middle of the road

BOOZY and behind the wheel of his ute, Justin Kaatz was heading home from out west when he was spotted by police driving in the middle of the road.

The police car swerved. Kaatz kept speeding toward Dalby, drinking beer while he drove, an Ipswich court has heard.

It was 5am, with Kaatz driving a Holden Rodeo ute from St George to his home at Sadliers Crossing.

Justin Wade Kaatz, 40, a quarry worker, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle when adversely affected by an intoxicating substance at Dalby on August 11; driving UIL; disobeying the speed limit; failing to provide a breath sample for analysis; and driving a safe but otherwise defective vehicle.

Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard said the ute had a cracked windscreen and a front right headlight was not working. Police did a U-turn and, with flashing lights, followed the ute for 2km, with Kaatz driving over the limit before stopping. This included a speed of 120km/h in a 60km/h zone.

Kaatz told police he spilled beer over his pants and drank six beers while driving.

A roadside check gave an alcohol reading indication of 0.185 but when asked to do an official check, Kaatz failed to provide a sample.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Kaatz was an alcoholic and engaged with an organisation to help him.

“He says he has been a problem drinker since a teenager. Drinking since the age of 14,” he said.

Magistrate David Shepherd said Kaatz’s offending had the potential to cause a disaster. He said police took evasive action as Kaatz had drifted on to the incorrect side of the road.

Mr Shepherd noted Kaatz’s prior convictions for drink driving and ongoing struggle with alcohol.

He sentenced Kaatz to 12 months’ jail – with his licence disqualified for 12 months and for six months – concurrent. Mr Shepherd warned him not to reoffend, saying “you are the guardian of your own liberty. Be well advised to keep up your efforts you have already made”.