Drunk caught twice behind wheel

FORTY minutes after Dominic Charles Thomas Pate was picked up for drink-driving, he got back behind the wheel and gave it another go.

Pate was so drunk that police witnessed his car swerving across the road and when they stopped him he returned a high-range breath test reading.

But shortly after, the Hervey Bay man’s car was again intercepted and he was charged with a second drink-driving offence.

He blew 0.162 and then 0.119.

Pate fronted Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for the two offences and a further charge of driving while under a 24-hour suspension.

He received a hefty fine and a lengthy driving disqualification.

The offences occurred late on July 3 and then early the next morning, when Pate was staying on the Sunshine Coast with his girlfriend.

Police attention was drawn to his vehicle after they saw it driving out a “no exit” driveway at the transit centre in Noosa Heads.

So they followed him and it was then that they witnessed the car swerving across the road.

“It appears he was rather erratically driving across the centre lines on a number of occasions,” prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll said.

She said police noticed that Pate was showing signs of intoxication when they intercepted his vehicle about 11.50pm and they also observed that his girlfriend was a passenger in the front seat.

He blew 0.162 and was charged with driving under the influence.

After Pate was processed and his licence suspended for 24 hours, he got back in the car and was intercepted at 12.30am.

He told the officers he was “looking for a place to sleep” that was less noisy than where the car had originally been parked.

He blew 0.119.

Defence lawyer John Milburn told the court Pate had only driven because he’d organised to stay with friends, but the accommodation fell through when they’d had a falling out.

He said the licence disqualification period would greatly affect his client, who worked as a bricklayer and driver for a construction company.

But magistrate Tom Killeen still ordered Pate off the roads for 27 months.

He also fined him $2500 for the three offences.

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