Magistrate scolds drink-driver

LISMORE driver Darren Long had ‘a ridiculously high’ alcohol reading when busted for drink-driving and he is off the road for three years after being convicted in the Lismore Local Court on his third drink-driving offence.

Long, 37, was arrested by police operating an RBT station after being stopped in Union Street, Lismore, at 1am on December 5 last year.

A breath test proved positive and a breath analysis revealed he was four times over the legal limit with a blood/alcohol reading of 0.200.

Magistrate Robyn Denes said it was his third offence for drink-driving and a ‘ridiculously high reading’.

“How you managed to get your key into the car’s ignition I don’t know,” she told Long.

“And you have done this before in Queensland in 2005 and 2006. Clearly what the courts have been telling you wasn’t getting through. You need to take responsibility with alcohol.”

Long replied he did take ‘full’ responsibility for his drink-driving offence.

Defence lawyer Ben Cochrane said that Long suffered from depression and, in his client’s view, his drinking was connected to this.

Mr Cochrane said Long was giving a woman a lift home as she had been ‘in a sorry state’ falling down drunk at a taxi rank after an argument with a friend.

Long was stopped by police near the Winsome Hotel with the woman in his car.

Mr Cochrane acknowledged his client’s previous offences for drink-driving.

Ms Denes convicted Long of the offence and placed him on a three-year good behaviour bond to be supervised by Probation and Parole.

His was disqualified from driving for three years from the date of the offence until December 2012.

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