Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street.

Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong GLA281013CORT

'Rolled the dice': Man's sticky situation of choice in which law to break

A BUNDABERG MAN found himself in a less then desirable situation when having to choose whether to be caught drink-driving or breaking a domestic violence protection order.

But the choice was made for him when police stopped the 39-year-old on November 11 making a getaway from his wife's house at Calliope, holder of the protection order, with a blood alcohol content of .141%.

The man pleaded guilty to one charge of contravening a domestic violence order and one count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence, in front of the Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.

Defence Lawyer Mitchell Jamison said his client received a text from his wife complaining of tooth pain, so his client offered to drive her to the dentist and back and pay for the treatment.

Mr Jamison said upon arriving back at the Calliope home, she invited him in for drinks, which he accepted in the hope of reconciling the relationship with his wife and spending time with his daughter, who also lived there

He even went out and bought the alcohol, Mr Jamison said.

However hours later, in an alcohol-fuelled argument, his wife told him to leave the house the court heard, but knowing he was over the limit, with a history of drink driving offences, the man "panicked” and stayed.

As a result his wife phone the police, Mr Jamison said, so his client made the choice to risk being caught drink-driving over breaking the protection order and took off in his car.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said the man was playing the "white knight” role by breaking the order to help his wife, and knowingly put himself in the situation. "He rolled the dice and broke the law,” Sgt Stevens said.

Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho said it was an "unusual” case of a domestic violence contravention, but an avoidable broken court order nonetheless.

Ms Ho said it was evident the man made poor decisions while intoxicated, and if he was caught drink driving again in the next few years, would face mandatory jail time.

The man's licence was disqualified for 10 months, and he was placed on a 12-month probation order. He was ordered to pay a $300 fine for breaking a previous good behaviour bond and has to attend mandatory alcohol and domestic violence counselling.



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