A SYDNEY man, who told police he was driving to the Shoalhaven while he was almost five times the legal limit, has escaped a jail term, instead being placed on an intensive corrections order for 12 months.
That means Shane Beresford Cooper, 43, of Yagoona in south-west Sydney, but who now lives at Sussex Inlet, can serve his sentence in the community.
Cooper pleaded guilty to high range drink driving in Nowra Local Court on Monday, September 9 before Magistrate Robert Walker.
Cooper told police he was on his way to Sussex Inlet to see a relative when he was detected by police driving in the Royal National Park around 12.15pm on March 31.
Court papers said he was spotted by police in an unregistered red Holden Commodore on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive.
Police said at the time he was tailgating another car.
Asked for his licence, Cooper allegedly told police he "didn't have one".
Officers said he smelt strongly of alcohol and spotted an empty whisky bottle in the vehicle.
A breath test returned a positive result and he later returned a breath reading almost five times the limit, 0.249.
Police said Cooper told them he was "driving to Sussex Inlet" and admitted he had been drinking from 8am.
Police took Cooper to the Sutherland Police Station, saying he was highly emotional, apologetic and remorseful in the back of the paddy wagon, before falling asleep.
He was also charged driving with driving an unregistered vehicle and driving with an expired licence.
Magistrate Walker disqualified Cooper from driving for nine months and ordered he have an interlock device fitted to his vehicle for two years. He was also fined $600.
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