A Glen Innes man has come before Inverell Local Court after attempting to avoid police while driving with a high-range blood alcohol limit.
Samuel Tobias James Boney, 31, was charged with a high-range drink-driving offence after he came to the attention of highway patrol officers conducting an RBT on a Saturday morning.
Facts tendered to court said that on June 6, police noticed a white Ford Falcon coming from the opposite direction to their road stop, appearing to be speeding in a 50km/hr zone on Aurburn Vale Road, Inverell.
While officers tried to wave him down by pointing to the stop signs, he drove past with his arm out the window, waving.
The police quickly got in their car and followed him, turning onto Hindmarsh Street. Boney had parked in a driveway, and as police pulled in behind him, he accelerated into a roll-up garage door.
Boney admitted to police that he was trying to avoid them, telling them he'd been drinking and shouldn't have been behind the wheel.
After he returned a positive breath test at the scene, he was taken to the Inverell Police Station where a breath analysis returned a reading of 0.174.
He'd been drinking 250ml glasses of vodka, but told police he couldn't remember how many. The session started at 7.30pm on Friday night, and he had his last at 8am that morning.
His solicitor, Chris Leahy, told Magistrate Holly Kemp on Thursday that Boney had gotten behind the wheel to escape a fight that had been escalating.
"It was silly and dangerous - one of the highest order," Magistrate Kemp condemned, adding it was an "alarming set of facts".
"He is acutely aware of this and is remorseful," Mr Leahy responded.
Mr Leahy submitted that as outlined in his sentencing assessment report, Boney had been seeking alcohol counselling and was taking steps to get his drinking under control.
Boney "knows he is facing a custodial sentence," Mr Leahy explained, but asked for it to be served in the community, noting his willingness for community service.
Magistrate Kemp took into account Boney's early plea of guilty and remorse as well as his "entrenchment" in counselling, which in combination made "the difference between full time custody or a sentence in the community".
He was convicted and placed on an Intensive Corrections Order for nine months with 50 hours of community service, and ordered to undertake rehab and treatment for his alcohol issues. He was disqualified from driving for six months, and will have the interlock device fitted to his car for 24 months.
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