News

A big blow for priest

Fr Peter Jones, parish priest of St Patrick’s Catholic Church South Grafton, will appear in court on December 13.
Fr Peter Jones, parish priest of St Patrick’s Catholic Church South Grafton, will appear in court on December 13. Adam Hourigan

ST PATRICK'S South Grafton parish priest Father Peter Jones earned himself the dubious honour of returning one of the highest blood alcohol readings ever recorded in NSW by police.

An off-the-chart +.5 roadside reading was followed by registering .341, almost seven times the legal limit, on Wednesday when the 58-year-old Catholic priest was pulled over on the Pacific Hwy at Maclean.

A concerned motorist allegedly saw the white Toyota Camry being driven by Fr Jones crossing lanes at Harwood and reported the incident to police.

Police caught up with Fr Jones as he turned off the highway onto Yamba Rd and pulled him over for a roadside breath test.

The hand-held breathalyser used by police was unable to accurately measure Fr Jones' blood-alcohol content, only indicating it was more than .5 - 10 times the legal limit.

Fr Jones was then taken by police to Maclean police station where he recorded the high-range blood-alcohol reading of .341.

Police immediately cancelled Fr Jones' driver's licence and issued him with a court attendance notice ordering him to appear in Maclean Local Court on December 13.

A senior police source told the Daily Telegraph newspaper Fr Jones' reading was one of the highest recorded in recent times in NSW.

Fr Jones was bailed by police into the custody of St Mary's Grafton parish priest Fr Rex Hackett due to his level of intoxication.

The Telegraph reported Fr Jones' car, which is owned by the Catholic Church, was confiscated by police and Fr Hackett transported his colleague home.

Drug and alcohol educator Paul Dillon told the Telegraph Fr Jones' reading could not have been reached by drinking beer, but would have required sustained prolonged drinking of hard liquor.

"Generally speaking it would be very hard to imagine someone could get to a level about .3 with beer, which is between 3 to 5% alcohol," he told the Telegraph.

"You really would be looking at significant amounts of spirits, which are 35 to 50% alcohol, over a period of time."

Two standard drinks in an hour can see a man reach the legal limit for drivers of .05, with women only needing one standard drink.

Topics:  alcohol, drink driving, illegal, police, priest



More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Woman in hospital after car rollover on Pacific Highway

A car rollover is affecting traffic on the Pacific Highway.

A woman involved in highway rollover has been taken to hospital

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Local Partners

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Break strings, ho hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction