'No sympathy’ for drink driver who crashed into fence
A MAGISTRATE has shown little sympathy to a "recidivist" drink driver who nearly killed himself by crashing into a fence near Mundubbera.
Andrew Angus McBurnie, 60, faced Gayndah Magistrates Court on August 7, charged with driving while under the influence of liquor on March 21.
Police prosecutor sergeant Kathryn Staggoll told the court McBurnie had crashed through several trees before coming to a stop just off the road in Durong.
"As a result of the crash the defendant suffered a number of injuries with emergency services attending," she said.
"Police assisted the defendant who was still in the driver seat, and they detected alcohol on his breath."
Sgt Staggoll said McBurnie admitted to consuming alcohol prior to the crash, with a blood sample sent away for analysis.
A certificate tendered to the court showed he had a BAC of 0.201, and had no emergency reason for driving.
Sgt Staggoll told the court there needed to be some sort of deterrent for McBurnie, as he had two previous high readings of .163 in 2012, and .17 in 2005.
McBurnie represented himself, and said he couldn't disagree with the facts, blaming his high reading on medication needed for previous spinal and neck injuries.
Magistrate Terry Duroux cited the fact McBurnie had been "out of strife" for about eight years, but couldn't understand why he committed yet another drink driving offence.
"It's just one of those things," McBurnie said.
"I don't accept that … it's not just one of those things, you put yourself at risk when you choose to drink drive," Mr Duroux rebuked.
"More importantly, you put others at risk."
He went onto spray the defendant, saying even "blind Freddy" knows not to drink alcohol with medication.
"Are you waiting to kill someone?" he asked McBurnie.
"Is that when you'll get the message?
"For heck's sake Mr McBurnie, you're 60 years of age … strewth Mr McBurnie, when are you going to learn?"
Mr Duroux accepted McBurnie had been off the road for four months since he was arrested, however he said his traffic history indicated he was a "recidivist" offender.
"You have to stop this, and stop this now, you're either going to kill yourself, or you're going to kill somebody else," he said.
"Killing yourself that's your problem, but the other people out there, that's who I'm greatly concerned about."
McBurnie pleaded guilty, was fined $1800, and was disqualified from driving for 11 months.
A conviction was recorded.