Here are six of the highest blood alcohol readings recorded by South Burnett police last year. File Photo.
Here are six of the highest blood alcohol readings recorded by South Burnett police last year. File Photo.

‘Off the charts’: Highest drink driving readings of 2020

Listed as one of the fatal five - alongside speeding, seatbelt use, distraction and fatigue - drink drivers are a ticking time bomb on South Burnett roads.

According to a report released by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, an average of 55 people are killed and 550 seriously injured each year on Queensland roads as a result of drink driving.

With the legal limit sitting at 0.05 BAC, here are six drivers who tripled or quadrupled the limit before getting behind the wheel in 2020.

Hannah Ryan Leu

A South Burnett woman risked losing her job, collected over a thousand dollars in fines and won‘t be able to drive for nine months after getting behind the wheel more than four times the limit.

Hannah Ryan Leu pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence of liquor at Kingaroy Magistrates Court.

At 11.45pm on September 26, Leu was intercepted by police driving a Ford Falcon on Youngman Street before returning a breath analysis of 0.202.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said regardless of someone’s job, people who consume such large amounts of alcohol and drive should receive a more substantial punishment than the minimum.

“The reading recorded on this occasion was quite literally off the charts, you were more than four times the limit,” Magistrate Sinclair said.

“The whole purpose of making someone lose their licence for an extended period of time is to discourage others from drink driving and to send a clear message that drink driving is not appropriate.”

Leu was fined $1200 and disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for the period of nine months.

No convictions were recorded.

Full Story HERE.

John David William Thomson

John David William Thomson entered a plea of guilty to two drug and drink driving related offences before the court last year.

At 3pm on June 2, 2020, police attended a single vehicle traffic crash on Barkers Creek Road at Booie. Thomson’s car had flipped onto its roof and he was trapped in the car.

According to police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi, Thomson‘s speech was slurred at the time of the incident. After he was transported to hospital, he was found to be over the middle alcohol limit (BAC 0.18) and a subsequent search revealed 50 grams of cannabis in his pants.

For possessing cannabis, the 27-years-old has been convicted and fined $500, which has been referred to SPER.

In relation to the UIL, he has been convicted and fined $1300 and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for 15 months.

Convictions were recorded.

Full Story HERE.

John Derek Goodman

John Derek Goodman entered a plea of guilty to three charges before the court last year.

At 1.40pm on May 25, 2020, police were called to a single vehicle crash on Stewart Valley Drive at Goodger.

Goodman blew a mid-range blood alcohol reading of 0.176 and was also found with 1.6 grams of cannabis in his possession.

The 46-year-old was convicted and fined $1000 for the drink driving charge, which has been referred to SPER, and disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for nine months.

For possessing a small amount of cannabis, Goodman was convicted and fined $200.

Full Story HERE.

Dale Christopher Arnott

A Kingaroy man was fined more than $6000 and disqualified from driving for two years thanks to recently introduced tough penalties for evading police.

Dale Christopher Arnott, 28, pleaded guilty to two charges, including failing to stop for police and driving under the influence of liquor.

Police officers saw Arnott‘s car zoom past them on Siefert St in Crawford about 11.45pm on November 29, 2019.

Police activated their lights and did a U-turn, but Arnott accelerated and took off.

Officers caught up about 30 metres down the road, where Arnott‘s speed had increased to 120km/h in a 100km/h zone. He pulled over about one and a half kilometres down the road.

Arnott was breath tested, and blew a reading of 0.173 - more than three times the limit.

Magistrate Louisa Pink told Arnott that parliament changed the law several years ago for people who evade police.

“There are now very substantial fines, or terms of imprisonment, for evading police,” she said.

When Ms Pink handed down the $6672 evasion offence fine, the public gallery gasped.

Arnott was also fined $600 for driving under the influence of liquor, and was disqualified from driving for two years.

The convictions were recorded.

Full Story HERE.

Jake Camen Cutter

One small motorbike left a Nanango man without his licence and $1000 out of pocket after he made a drunken joy ride into town earlier this year.

Jake Camen Cutter, 30, pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence of alcohol in the Nanango Magistrates court on Thursday, June 4.

He appeared via telephone in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court to have his charge heard and sentenced.

The court heard Cutter was intercepted on Henry St making a quick trip into Nanango on his miniature motorbike on April 28 to fill the bike with petrol and put air in the tyres.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Pepe Gangemi said Cutter provided a breath alcohol analysis of 0.173 per cent, more than three times over the legal limit of 0.05.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said he took into consideration Cutter’s early plea of guilty when imposing a sentence but said with a reading this high the court is not able to allow the painter and decorator to apply for a work licence.

“While you may not have been much of a danger to other motorists on this small motorcycle you were certainly putting yourself in risk of a serious injury,” he said.

Cutter was fined $1000 and his licence will be suspended for a further eight months.

A conviction was recorded.

Full Story HERE.

Dean Wallace Skudder

Most panel beaters are known for repairing scrapes, dings and scratches on cars – not causing them.

But that’s exactly what Kingaroy business owner and panel beater Dean Wallace Skudder did when he drove home drunk from a party in February this year.

Skudder, 48, pleaded guilty to one charge of drink driving in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court earlier this week on Monday, May 18.

Police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi told the court Skudder had attended a birthday function at a Kelvyn St address in Kingaroy on Saturday, February 8.

“At about quarter past 11 that night (11.15pm) the defendant was leaving that particular premises in his Mitsubishi, he’s backed into another vehicle causing a small amount of damage,” he said.

Upon police attending Skudder’s home address, he provided a blood-alcohol content reading slightly more than three times the legal limit (0.151 per cent) and had been without the use of his licence ever since.

Magistrate Pink ordered Skudder pay a fine of $900, be disqualified from holding a driver’s licence for a further nine months and that an interlock device is fitted to his vehicle in order to have his licence reinstated.

A conviction was recorded.

Full Story HERE.

South Burnett

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