Drink that couldn't be refused leads to crash
A CRASH driver more than three times the legal alcohol limit blames his sociable cultural background on him drinking then driving.
His ute crashed into a woman's car that also held her daughter, aged 3.
Uelese Iakopo, 46, from Goodna, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to dangerous operation of a motor-vehicle when adversely affected by an intoxicating substance at Redbank Plains on December 8, 2017.
Iakopo gave an alcohol reading of 0.171 when breath-tested after the crash.
Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said the crash happened at 10pm on Cedar Rd.
Iakopo said he'd been drinking that night at a friend's house before driving.
The young woman driver of the other car was driving south along Cedar Rd and about to turn right into another street when Iakopo's ute collided with her car.
A white ute driven by Iakopo had its front end extensively damaged after colliding with another car.
Another driver told police she "beeped" at the ute moments before when its driver did not look when he drove on to the road from a side road.
She said the ute driver wound his window down then made "a hand gesture" at her.
Sgt Caldwell said another driver told police the ute driver "came flying" out of another street and caught up at speed tailgating him before the crash.
The driver had looked back and saw the ute had crashed into another car.
Another witness who ran to the scene removed the key from the ute's ignition.
Defence lawyer Russell Tannock said it was quite uncharacteristic behaviour by Iakopo who suffered considerable financial loss as a result.
Mr Tannock said both vehicles were written-off and Iakopo came to an arrangement to pay for the other car as well.
Iakopo said a friend offered him drinks and because of his cultural background, was not in a position to refuse that hospitality.
Magistrate David Shepherd said there was potential for disaster with a woman and child in the other car.
Mr Shepherd said with Iakopo living in Australia 24 years and with no history, the offence seemed to be a one-off but its seriousness could not be ignored.
Iakopo was fined $2000 - sent to SPER and he was disqualified from driving for one year.