$1000 and licence lost for "sleeping it off"

SLEEPING a big night off in the car rather than jumping behind the wheel.

Seems like a pretty responsible thing to do, but it cost one Coolum man $1000, his licence for nine months and so much more.

Jonathon Richard Clampett, "Jed", or "Jono", as he preferred, was fined and had his licence disqualified in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday, after an incident late last year.

After heading down to the old Coolum Beach Hotel for two beers with a work colleague to discuss a job, Mr Clampett bumped into an old fishing mate from South Australia who he hadn't seen for more than a decade, and promptly decided to stay for another couple of drinks, as many of us probably would.

During the following few drinks, Mr Clampett's mate had a decent win on Keno, ensuring the two would stay on for quite a few more drinks, as Mr Clampett decided his car would be spending the night at the pub.

When the night came to an end, the Coolum man was left in a conundrum.

Driving was out of the question, but he was hesitant to walk home on the streets of Coolum in his state, as he said it was only asking for trouble.

So Mr Clampett decided to wind the driver's seat back and sleep in his car.

It was there he said that police found him, breath-tested him, arrested him and took him to the watch house.

"The stupid thing I did was put the key in the ignition to listen to my Zig Zigler tapes as I went to sleep," Mr Clampett said.

Mr Clampett, who pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of liquor, after recording a BAC of 0.273%, said he spent the night in lock-up as a result, a first for him, and was released at 5.30 the next morning.

"I thought I was doing the right thing (by not driving)," Mr Clampett, who now found himself facing homelessness and unemployment as a result, said yesterday.

"It really rattled me. It really got to me (after the arrest)."

Mr Clampett said he was gutted at the position he now found himself in, battling to see his children without the ability to drive, and worried about his future, after what he thought had been the safest decision at the time.

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