Jail term is suspended
A HEAVILY intoxicated man who drove menacingly on the Bruce Highway and then crashed into a parked car in Clinton narrowly avoided a jail sentence in the Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday.
Andrew Du Pre Chamier pleaded guilty to two counts of driving without a licence, which had been disqualified, assault or obstruct a police officer, dangerous operation of a vehicle, drink driving and failing to comply with the duties of a driver.
Police Prosecutor Constable Sean Franklin said the defendant was charged with disqualified driving on April 15 in Bole Street, only one month after being disqualified from driving.
Then on May 21 police received a report of a vehicle driving dangerously on the Bruce Highway at Mt Larcom.
The court heard the vehicle was tailgating another car, swerving all over the lane menacingly and straddling the white line on a bend approaching a hill. The driver of the car in front was so scared and frantic they pulled over and called police, the court was told.
Du Pre Chamier then crashed into the rear of a parked car in Wistari Street, pushing it forward one metre before reversing and driving off.
The court was told residents chased him on foot and found him a short distance up the street. The defendant threatened the residents with a piece of door trim and said ‘‘we're not gonna have any trouble are we?'' before running off.
A police dog squad followed his scent to a nearby house where police had to use force to gain entry after the defendant refused to open the door.
The defendant had a blood alcohol reading of 0.178.
His solicitor, Stacey O'Gorman, said her client was a 35-year-old plumber who did not recall his bad behaviour.
“My client co-operated with police after they burst in, and realises he made a gross error of judgment,” she said.
Magistrate Damian Carroll sentenced Du Pre Chamier to 18 months jail, fully suspended for two and a half years for the dangerous driving charge and placed him on 15 months probation.
He was disqualified from driving for 20 months for drink driving, two years for the first disqualified driving charge and two and a half years for the second.
He was fined $3500 or 40 days in jail for the other offences.
“You have a serious disregard for the orders of the court and you placed yourself and other road users at risk. You were more than three times the legal limit and you engaged in threatening behaviour,” Mr Carroll said.