Lifelong ban for drink-driver

A MOORE Park Beach man will never be allowed to drive again, after he crashed his car into a dam on New Year’s Eve while nearly seven times the limit.

After he started drinking cask wine early on December 31 last year at a Baffle Creek property, Alan Butler tried to drive into Miriam Vale in the afternoon.

But Bundaberg Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that the 67-year-old retiree put his car into drive instead of reverse, and crashed it into a shallow dam.

Butler  swam back to dry land and made his way to the house, where he telephoned police to advise them of the accident.

Shortly after 3pm, police arrived from Agnes Water to find Butler dripping wet and covered in mud.

A blood sample revealed his blood-alcohol content was 0.345% — which Bundaberg Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens described as “one of the highest readings I can remember”.

“He’s damn lucky he didn’t kill himself or other people,” Sgt Stevens said.

“The message needs to be reinforced that ... drink driving is a major cause of collisions in this region.”

Butler had two previous convictions for drink-driving, one in 1999 and the other in 1990.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts said it was an “extraordinary reading” and Butler was lucky the damage was not worse.

“These matters are all too prevalent in this community,” Magistrate Batts said.

She convicted and fined Butler $2100 and disqualified him from driving for life.

Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge said every effort was being made to intercept and prosecute people who got behind the wheel while over the limit.

“It is ludicrous to think that people continue to drive with that level of blood-alcohol content,” Insp Guteridge said.

“It is clear from the penalty incurred that this behaviour is not acceptable in our society.”

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