Carnage montage drives home drunk driver message
A MAGISTRATE has pushed her message against drink driving at Cleveland Magistrates Court today.
Cleveland resident Stuart Marcus Jansen, born in 1973, pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving after he was stopped for a roadside breath test on December 15 last year on Shore St West at Ormiston.
He returned a blood alcohol content reading of 0.161 per cent.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta told Jansen rather than lecture him, she would show him a video of what could happen when motorists had been drinking.
She then played the court a video produced by Victoria's Transport Accident Commission showing cars slamming into pedestrians, windscreens shattering on impact and anguished screams of friends and family witnessing the crashes.
The montage was set to the song Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
"Rather than talk at you for five minutes, I'm just going to flick off the lights and show you a drink driving video because it will have far greater impact than anything I could say," Mrs Vasta said.
"It's pretty graphic, but then car accidents are graphic.
"Personally, I think if anyone drives they should see it.
"I made all my four children watch it when they all got their driver's licences because you need to know what sort of carnage you can cause."
She followed the video by showing the court the Department of Transport and Main Road's Queensland Road Crash Weekly Report, which already showed two deaths on the states roads up to last Sunday.
"We're going to sit here all year and point out this (road deaths) column, which will go up to the tens, twenties, thirties, into the hundreds, it's going to hit 200 at least," Mrs Vasta said.
The court heard Jansen had just prior to the offence completed an "intensive" eight-week fitness challenge involving no alcohol and a restrictive diet.
On the night in question, Jansen had attended an awards night for the program, where he placed second out of the participants.
The court heard he had fought with his partner when returning home in an Uber, which led to his decision to drive, as he wished to sleep in his car.
Defence counsel Andrew Wiseman said it was a "foolish" decision, but noted his client had an almost blemish-free traffic history.
"It's less than most P-platers," Mr Wiseman told the court.
He also noted Jansen had completed a Queensland Traffic Offenders Program, which Mrs Vasta remarked was positive.
Jansen was fined $2000, disqualified from driving for six months, and ordered to fit an interlock ignition device on his car's steering wheel for two years.
The conviction was not recorded.