Aged driver leaves long trail of destruction
AN 82-YEAR-OLD man left a trail of destruction behind him when he decided to drive after a five-hour drinking session at the pub.
Witnesses told police the Holden Commodore travelled at low speeds at first, weaving over the road and at one point, stopping in the middle of the road.
This was before Colin Leslie Laycock drove into the back of a parked car where a passenger was about to exit from the car onto the road.
Laycock then sped up, with the car going onto the other side of the road, mounted a gutter, side-swiped a power pole, ran through a fence and stopped after hitting a ramp of a house.
Defence lawyer Brian McGowran said Laycock and his ill wife were now at risk of losing their house with insurance companies expected to chase Laycock for money to repair the damage he caused in the accident.
Laycock pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated and one of drinking driving.
Police prosecutor Jess King said Laycock's blood alcohol content was 0.227.
She said not only did the four people in the parked vehicle escape uninjured, it was also fortunate children who had just walked the footpath Laycock drove over were unharmed.
The incident took place near the intersection of James St and William St, Mt Morgan, on December 16 about 5pm.
One resident reported feeling her house shake as Laycock's car came to a halt.
While the accident did not result in any injuries to people, it will severely impact Laycock and his wife.
Mr McGowran said Laycock's wife suffers from severe chronic obstructive lung disease and chronic lower back pain, relying on her husband to drive her to medical appointments.
The couple now need to rely on the goodwill of neighbours and friends to drive them around.
The court heard Laycock had prior drink driving convictions - the last 10 years ago - with much lower BAC results.
Magistrate Jeff Clarke ordered Laycock to a three-month prison term, wholly suspended and operational for 12 months.
He also ordered Laycock be disqualified from driving for 2.5 years and a fine of $900.
"This is a bad case of dangerous driving," Mr Clarke said.
"A BAC of 0.227 is a very significant level of intoxication.
"It was a completely irresponsible and reprehensible thing to do.
"If you were a younger man, it would have been a higher sentence and you would be going to prison today."