Right idea, wrong timing

ERIC MATUZ made the right decision, but it was too late to stop him losing his licence.

Matuz, 29, of Lismore, was convicted in Lismore Local Court of high range drink-driving after blowing 0.16 when police intercepted him at Bridge Street, Lismore, at 12.30am on July 25.

The court was told police were patrolling Bridge Street when they saw Matuz drive about half a car length then reverse into a parking space before walking away.

When they caught up with him Matuz smelt strongly of alcohol, was unsteady and his speech was slurred.

He told them he had drunk five full-strength XXXX stubbies since 8pm.

The officers breath-tested him and, when they saw the result, took away his licence.

Defence lawyer Vince Boss said Matuz had decided to drive home because he was worried about leaving his car, which had his tools in the back, unattended overnight.

However, a friend who was with him told him not to and Matuz relented, reversing the car back into the parking space.

Unfortunately for Matuz, by that time police had already spotted him and were preparing to investigate.

Mr Boss said his client was worried about the impact a lost licence would have on his access to his children, who lived with their mother at Lillian Rock, and the impact a conviction might have on his Australian residency status.

Magistrate Robyn Denes agreed Matuz’s offence was not as bad as if he had been picked up while driving or having an accident.

“Unfortunately for you, you were caught and your reading was very high,” she said.

Ms Denes fined Matuz $800, plus $76 court costs, and suspended his licence for 12 months, starting from July 25.



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