Judge jails drink-driver

A ROCKHAMPTON judge has sent a clear warning that drink-driving and speeding will not be tolerated, jailing an offender for four months.

Michael William Stewart, 38, of Bondoola, clocked 160kmh in a Magna sedan on the wrong side of the Rockhampton-to-Yeppoon Road.

He lost control of the vehicle, which hit a large tree and split in two.

The front portion travelled a further 50 metres with Stewart and a passenger inside.

Stewart was severely injured and was taken to hospital while his passenger escaped with minor injuries.

Stewart later recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .185% ? more than three times the legal limit.

He pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court last week to dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving under the influence of liquor in November 2003.

Stewart had said he had not consumed liquor that day, but had the night before.

The Crown argued that because of Stewart's previous drink-driving conviction deterrence was important.

"Too often in our community, this type of offence is not considered by people to be criminal activity, but it is criminal activity and should be recognised as such,'' Judge Britton said.

Stewart was sentenced to 15 months' jail to be suspended after he serves four months.

If he commits another criminal offence within two years he may be required to serve the full sentence.

He was disqualified from driving for three years.



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