DRUNK AND DISQUALIFIED: Dad wrecks son’s car during spin

A 39-year-old arborist took his son's car for a 'test drive' while drunk and disqualified, crashing it into a street pole in Glastonbury and blowing nearly four times the legal limit.

Zeph Reidy Kelly pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday to driving while disqualified and driving while under the influence.

On August 24, Kelly was 'spinning' the wheels of his son's Holden Sedan on a driveway before making his way onto the road.

Police prosecutor Melissa Campbell said police attended the crash scene at 7:50pm where Kelly had hit a street sign at the intersection of Glastonbury Road.

"Police observed two males next to the vehicle, both displaying intoxication, one of the males being the defendant who admitted to being the driver," Sergeant Campbell said.

"Checks revealed his licence had been disqualified on the 29th of April 2019 for a period of 2 years."

Sgt Campbell said Kelly completed a roadside breath test and blew a reading of 0.198.

Solicitor Anderson said Kelly has four children who all currently live with him and has been in a de facto relationship for four years.

An "embarrassing" and "difficult" conversation was had when Kelly told his son that his car had been impounded.

"There is still some degree of angst from the son towards my client," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson said the father had been "test driving" the car when he crashed, but later withdrew the statement when Magistrate Callaghan said "that's rubbish".

"You don't get drunk and then go and test a vehicle to see if it's working, that's just rubbish," Mr Callaghan said.

Mr Anderson said Kelly had been 'doing a skid' and 'spinning' the wheels in the driveway.

"That was the rock bottom period for my client as he realised what he had done," he said.

"He accepted that he did have a problem with alcohol and he has not had a drink since the offending."

Mr Callaghan said Kelly had a "long history" of driving while disqualified and was a "danger to the public" when driving with a reading of 0.198.

"I don't understand why I make these orders and people just disobey them," he said.

"You talk about an embarrassing conversation with your son because you wrecked his car … it will be a much more embarrassing conversation when you have to call him from the watch house here at Gympie and say I'm going to jail.

"That's what's going to happen on the next occasion; today you will be given a suspended sentence but next time I see you it's out that door."

Kelly was fined $1200 for driving under the influence and sentenced to six months jail, suspended for three years, for driving while disqualified.

He will not be able to obtain a licence for 40 months, cumulative to his previous disqualifications.

Convictions were recorded.

Gympie Times


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