Drunk driver lucky to walk away from rollover
A MAN who was four times the legal alcohol limit when he crashed and rolled his Toyota motor vehicle, this week told an Ipswich court he had no memory of drinking.
A blood sample taken from Edward Darrell Whyatt after the accident at Tallegalla showed an alcohol reading of 0.207. This is more than four times the legal limit.
His lack of recollection of events leading up to the incident did not impress Ipswich magistrate David Shepherd.
Airing his concern about the dangers to road users Whyatt presented that day, Mr Shepherd noted "the utter stupidity" of this sort of offending.
An apologetic and remorseful Whyatt, 55, from Lowood, pleaded guilty to driving when under the influence of liquour on November 26, 2018.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said Whyatt was driving his Toyota at 9.25pm on Tallegalla Rd but he failed to negotiate a right-hand bend.
"His vehicle went straight, mounted a high embankment and the vehicle rolled," Sen-Const Shelton said.
"A witness says she could smell liquor on his breath.
"After he was extricated and taken by ambulance to Ipswich hospital, a blood specimen was taken."
Whyatt had a previous offence in 2017 for driving when an illicit drug was detected in his saliva.
"I was working a lot of hours. I don't remember what happened," Whyatt told the court.
"I went to (a friend's place) to fix a light. She has health issues. I was helping them.
"I learnt my lesson a long time ago. The very serious consequences and someone could have been injured.
"I was stupid."
"That is an understatement. It is a significant reading," Mr Shepherd responded.
Mr Shepherd said he had at least two dated drink driving convictions, in addition to the drug driving offence in 2017.
"Your honour, since the accident happened, I have not drunk alcohol," Whyatt said.
"I just don't understand how I got into that situation.
"I shouldn't have done it in the first place, your honour."
Mr Shepherd sentenced Whyatt to two months' jail, immediately suspended .
His driver's licence was disqualified for 15 months.
"My view is that this is a particularly serious example of this offence resulting in a rollover of your vehicle. Fortunately, you were not injured, nor was anyone else," Mr Shepherd said.
"If someone else was injured you could expect to be going to prison today.
"You have no recollection of the event, which is understandable given the reading."