High range drink-driver crashes 20m into mangroves
WHEN Jim De Leer crashed his car 20 metres into the mangroves at Eimeo be blew nearly six times the legal blood alcohol limit on the roadside.
But he claims being a diabetic had probably lowered his blood sugar and may have led to him blacking out at the time of the crash at 7.46am on June 2 this year.
Prosecutor David Epstein said De Leer had been driving west on Shann St when he went straight through the Mango Ave and Eimeo Rd intersection, down an embankment and stopped about 20 metres into the mangroves.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard the initial roadside breath test returned a 0.294 per cent reading at 8.10am.
"(He) stated he did not believe he'd blow over the limit," Mr Epstein said.
De Leer told police he had six to eight hours sleep and had not drunk any alcohol since 10pm the night before.
"(He) seemed unconcerned with what had happened to his vehicle and that he'd put himself and others in danger," Mr Epstein said.
A second test returned a reading of 0.206 per cent.
Self represented, De Leer pleaded guilty in Mackay Magistrates Court to driving under the influence.
"Two weeks prior to that incident I was put on a new drug," De Leer said, adding that paramedics tested his blood sugar and it returned a low reading.
"It's never been that low in my life.
"I'm thinking maybe the combination of all this alcohol plus this new drug just lowered my blood sugar something terrible."
But Magistrate Damien Dwyer said, "That doesn't get round the problem that you're driving in the first place."
"But that could have been why I sort of blacked out," De Leer said.
"Or it could have been because you were four times over the limit," Mr Dwyer said.
De Leer asked, "so that's not a mitigating circumstance" and Mr Dwyer said it was something he would take into account.
"The simple fact is … you shouldn't have been driving," Mr Dwyer said.
De Leer was fined $2120 and disqualified from driving for 14 months. A conviction was not recorded.