So drunk he could not even walk

A MAN who drove when he was too drunk to walk straight later passed out in a police car after his arrest, a court was told.

Police watched Nicholas John Lathouras, 25, drive his Toyota Landcruiser at a high speed through a roundabout at the intersection of Bourbong and Tantitha streets about 3.30am on March 7.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens told Bundaberg Magistrates Court that after driving “erratically” and being followed by police for a short time, Lathouras was stopped.

Sgt Stevens said Lathouras had been “completely incoherent” and had smelled strongly of liquor.

“The defendant was very unsteady on his feet and needed police to hold him up,” Sgt Stevens said.

“In fact, he fell asleep in the back of the police car and it took several attempts to wake him.”

The prosecutor said the officers had earlier followed the driver down several streets, where they watched him breaking the speed limit, ignoring Give Way signs and losing traction around a corner.

Lathouras then ran a red light at the intersection of Bourbong and Mulgrave streets, causing a car to screech to a halt to avoid a collision.

“Police activated lights and sirens, but the defendant failed to stop,” Sgt Stevens said.

After about 2km, police abandoned the pursuit due to dangerous weather conditions. But as they called off their chase, they saw Lathouras turn into a no-through road and followed him.

The defendant did not stop, but instead did a U-turn on grass and went around the police car before turning into Stibe Street, another no-through road. He tried a U-turn in a front yard, where he hit a letterbox and fence.

Sgt Stevens said Lathouras got out of his car and tried to run from police. A struggle followed, during which Lathouras kicked a police officer and pushed another one.

Lathouras pleaded guilty to dangerous driving while affected by alcohol, assaulting a police officer, failing to stop a motor vehicle and obstructing police.

Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said his client had voluntarily tiled the South Kolan Football Club toilets the morning of the offences, before drinking at a friend's house and going to a pub.

He said Lathouras lost a female friend while at the pub and was driving in an attempt to find her.

“He began to get worried about a female friend who had gotten lost and went to the pubs around town asking bouncers and friends if they had seen her,” Mr Dwyer said.

“He indicates he was aware police were following him but he was focused on finding his friend.”

Mr Dwyer said his client did not intend to hurt police, but just wanted to get away from them.

Magistrate Neil Lavaring referred to Lathouras's offences as “losing the plot a bit”.

The magistrate imposed a $4000 fine and disqualified Lathouras's licence for eight months.



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