Drunk driver had his five-year-old with him

A DRUNK driver who drove dangerously with his five-year-old daughter as a passenger has lost his licence for the next 21 months.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court, Clifford O'Brien pleaded guilty to a string of charges including dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving under the influence.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said officers had observed a Holden sedan travelling at high speed along Redbank Plains Rd in Bellbird Park about 1am on June 20.

After momentarily losing sight of the sedan, the vehicle was quickly located by police again after it had left the road at an intersection.

The driver of vehicle, O'Brien, fled the scene whist carrying his child.

Police gave chase and caught up with the 36-year-old, who struggled with the officers as they tried to remove his daughter from him and place him under arrest.

Sgt Dick said the officers noticed O'Brien had a strong smell of alcohol on his breath and that his speech was fast and slurred.

He said O'Brien had failed to supply a breath sample.

Defence lawyer Erin Dwan said O'Brien was an employed, single parent with no prior criminal history.

She said on the night leading up to the offending, her client had been drinking at his girlfriend's house.

During the evening, his girlfriend's ex partner turned up, this resulted in the two men arguing with each other.

Ms Dwan said O'Brien left the house with his daughter to avoid and altercation with his girlfriend's ex, even though he knew he was too drunk to drive.

She said her client had been struggling with his use of alcohol following the death of his mother earlier this year.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said she was perplexed at why O'Brien would have put his child at such risk.

"This is a serious matter," she said. "Your behaviour endangered your daughter's life and the lives of others."

For the dangerous operation of a vehicle charge, O'Brien was sentenced to four years in jail, suspended for 12 months.

For the remaining charges he was put on parole for 12 months. He was also disqualified from driving for 21 months.


Topics:  drink driving ipswich magistrates court name and shame (ipswich)

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