Driver five times the blood-alcohol limit before rolling ute in Marong

A DRIVER who was five times the blood-alcohol limit when he rolled his ute in Marong this year has been told that he was fortunate the crash did not land him in the Coroner’s Court.

Samuel Kevin, 23, had a reading of 0.251 after crashing at the intersection of O’Sullivans Road and the Wimmera Highway on June 11.

He pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Monday to drink driving and careless driving charges.

The court heard Kevin drank two pints of cider at the Marong Family Hotel followed by half a bottle of 300ml Jim Beam bourbon before getting behind the wheel of his ute.

He failed to negotiate the bend and his ute came to rest on its side about 9pm.

Police at the scene noticed long skid marks leading up to the crash, and noted Kevin appeared intoxicated.

They also found an empty bottle of Jim Beam bourbon amongst the debris.

Kevin was taken to Bendigo hospital by ambulance but did not suffer any serious injuries. At 11.45pm, a sample of his blood was analysed and found to be five times the limit.

The court was told Kevin had sought help for alcohol issues and was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings during the period when he crashed. 

Magistrate Michael King said it was lucky that no one else was involved in the crash.

“He’s fortunate that this case is not before the Coroner’s Court,” he said.

“What if there had been someone else on the road? They would have been the victim.

“As well as putting yourself at risk, you have the potential of causing trauma to your family if you are seriously injured or killed.”

The court heard Kevin did not have any prior drink driving offences.

Dr King said the lack of priors was the only thing keeping him out of prison for the careless driving and drink driving charges.

Kevin was placed on a 12-month community corrections order and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid community work. His license was disqualified for 24 months.

He was also ordered to take part in a safe driving program.