Driver's relationship with alcohol needs to be addressed

A 57-year-old Gooloogong man has been fined $400, disqualified from driving for five months followed by an interlock period of 12-months at Cowra Local Court.

Stephen William Roughly of Kangarooby Road was before the court charged with a mid range PCA.

According to police facts around 7.30am on November 19, 2019, police were conducting stationary random breath testing on the Lachlan Valley Way when they stopped Roughly.

Police could smell liquor coming from the vehicle and asked Roughly if he had consumed any alcohol, with Roughly replying "Not today but I had some last night".

His breath test returned a positive reading and he was arrested and taken to Cowra Police Station for a breath analysis.

The analysis returned a reading of 0.117 grams of alcohol in 210 litres of breath.

In relation to his drinking, Roughly told police he had started drinking at 12pm the previous day and finished at 12am. He told them he had consumed an unknown amount of VB cans during that time.

Roughly's solicitor June Langfield told the court her client had thought enough time had passed since his last drink and he could drive.

"The day before he was assisted by his brother in erecting a stock fence, they consumed a number of drinks over the course of that day," she said.

"He thought he was ok to drive the next day and had sobered up, but he wasn't. It was a very foolish decision and he has expressed his remorse.

"He has recently moved to Cowra to be closer to work and rides a pushbike to work. He gained a useful insight from the traffic offenders program," she said.

However police prosecutor, Sergeant Carl Smith, argued that Roughly's offending was not what was normally seen with a morning after offence.

"This gentleman blew 0.117 at 7.30am after he had his last drink at 12am, there is no way he did not know he was still affected by alcohol at that point in time," he said.

"The amount of alcohol to get him to that level and maintain it seven and a half hours after his last drink has to be staggering. He clearly has a problem with alcohol from his history.

"To keep the public safe in my submission, the court would have to impose the mandatory disqualification or increase it," he said.

In sentencing Magistrate Michael O'Brien said Roughly's previous drink driving matters should have been a wake up call to him.

"Although you have two historical matters on your record, they are still matters which brought you before the court previously. That in itself should tell you that your relationship with alcohol needs to be looked at," he said.

"You only need to look at the news to see what can happen when a driver's ability to manage a vehicle safely is compromised by excessive alcohol. It can have tragic and lifelong consequences.

"I appreciate this is a morning after offence but the reading even after the passage of time is still extremely high, more then double the legal limit," he said.

Responding to Mr O'Brien, Roughly said he had a greater understanding of alcohol thanks to the traffic offenders program.

"I appreciate the program very much, especially the responsibility of the driver and the consequences when you break the rules," he said.

"It showed me the tolerances and time alcohol stays in your system. I wasn't aware of that at all until that course."

Magistrate O'Brien also ordered Roughly to enter a 12-month supervised community corrections order and to enter and fully engage with all drug and alcohol counselling to which he was directed by his supervisor.