A SUSSEX Inlet man caught driving when almost six times the legal blood alcohol limit has been jailed for 12 months.
Nowra Local Court heard on Monday, March 8, it was the third time Billy Crothers, 45, had been caught high range drink driving.
Crothers had consumed a bottle of vodka the night before getting behind the wheel of his Subaru Forester on November 3, 2020.
Court facts said he had driven from Sussex Inlet to Nowra. His vehicle collided with the rear of a stationary car at traffic lights at the intersection of Illaroo Road and the Princes Highway at Bomaderry around 12.50pm.
The driver of the other vehicle looked in the rear vision mirror and Crothers appeared to be on his mobile phone.
Police said Crothers continued north on the highway, turning into Bolong Road.
The other driver followed Crothers but lost him in Bomaderry before reporting the matter to police.
Officers found Crothers, still behind the wheel of the vehicle, on Bolong Road near the Caltex service station.
Officers said he was so intoxicated, he could not follow directions to turn the engine off and had no recollection of the accident.
He returned a positive breath test and later a reading of 0.294.
Crothers pleaded guilty to high range drink driving and failing to give particulars after an accident.
Magistrate Lisa Viney heard Crothers had a history of "alcohol related incidents" and that this was his "third high range drink driving offence".
The court was told he had abstained from drinking since 2019, but had "relapsed" after reuniting with his father, which was described as a "toxic" relationship.
The court was told he had since cut ties with his father and had "no intention" of seeing him again.
He had also started treatment for his alcohol problems and was seeing a doctor weekly.
Court documents also showed he had been convicted of operating a vessel with high range reading in May 2019.
Magistrate Viney said despite his moves to get help, including relocating to Queensland to live with his mother, there was no alternative to a jail sentence.
"You were previously on an intensive corrections order for a similar offence which only recently expired," she said.
"I have to take into consideration the safety of the community and the seriousness of this offence."
She sentenced Crothers to 12 months' jail with a non-parole period of six months, disqualified him from driving for nine months and ordered he have an interlock device fitted to his vehicle for four years.
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