Father of 10 was drunk, sitting in driver's seat

WITH a blood-alcohol reading of 0.205%, if Neale William Henry Haughton had been driving there is no question he would have been a danger to everyone on the road.

But despite pleading guilty to drink-driving, and technically being behind the wheel, he wasn't actually driving.

Rockhampton Magistrate's Court heard Haughton had his keys in the ignition with the radio playing, but the motor not running, when police visited his Bajool property on an unrelated matter last December.

Legal Aid defence lawyer Matthew Heelan acknowledged the 54-year-old was heavily intoxicated, and struggled to walk, but said he was only in the car listening to music.

"The motor was not running at any time," he said.

"He is not in the same basket as someone who is driving down the street who would put the public and put himself at a very high risk of harm.

"(But) by the letter of the law he is guilty."

Mr Heelan also said Haughton was a father of 10 and was responsible for taking three of the kids to school while his wife went to work.

Now that he can't drive his wife has had to cut back her hours to take them herself.

This has put a strain on the family's finances.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll said Haughton should not have been anywhere near a vehicle, given the state of his intoxication and particularly given his criminal history of similar offences.

Haughton was fined $1250.

He also had his licence disqualified for eight months.



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