Christopher Bligh, photographed by an Observer journalist in 2014.
Christopher Bligh, photographed by an Observer journalist in 2014. Rebekah Smith

Drunk driver's near miss with pedestrians, power pole on Goondoon St

NARROW lanes, pedestrian crossings, median strips and an overall busy area make driving along Goondoon St a challenge even for the safest of drivers.

But for a Gladstone drunk driver the solution was simple: drive over the top of, or through anything that crossed his path.

Christopher Rudy Bligh pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to four charges including drink driving, failing to stop and dangerous operation of a vehicle while adversely affected.

Police prosecutor Sargent Barry Stevens said at about 5.45am on December 30, Bligh lost control of his car along the main street.

He mounted the gutter, narrowly missed another vehicle drove up onto the pedestrian path, hit a garden bed and a median strip, all the while powering forward.

Bligh narrowly missed a power pole, but knocked over a council street sign instead as he turned from Goon St to Hansen Rd.

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There were a number of witnesses to the drunk driving and a few hours after the police went to Bligh's house to question him.

He was found at him home, passed out on the couch, Sgt Stevens said. He returned a BAC reading of .168%.

Two weeks later Bligh was back behind the wheel; intercepted by police after officers noticed his erratic driving and his failure to stop at a stop sign.

He admitted officers he had been drinking, and returned a reading of .117%. His licence was suspended immediately.

One week later, Blight was spotted driving his car at the Nightowl Centre.

He couldn't give police any reason for getting behind the wheel despite his licence being suspended.

Sgt Stevens said while no one was injured during the drink driving offences, the potential was alarming.

He said given the time of day and location, there would have been a number of people in the main street.

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Defence lawyer Lauren Townsend said at the time, her client was dealing with the break-down of a 10-year relationship and turned to alcohol to cope.

She said her client had five children with his ex-partner, and was working full-time.

"A term of imprisonment would hurt his ability to make an income," Ms Townsend said.

Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho imposed a hood order; two probation periods, subject to alcohol counselling and a $200 fine.

She also ordered Blight to serve six months imprisonment, to be suspended for two years.

He lost his licence for two years and six months, a conviction was recorded.



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