Driver jailed after ninth DUI charge

A MAGISTRATE has blasted a Moree man for doing his “utmost to get to death level” before jailing him for two years for his ninth drink-driving offence.

Kevin Adams, 49, has six high-range PCA charges to his name, including two in the space of three months after he was nabbed by police in October last year.

Magistrate Roger Prowse said Adams was a “chronic alcoholic” whose time was up.

“You have run out of any leniency,” he said.

Adams, who appeared in Tamworth Local Court for sentencing via video link, was detected on October 10 driving a green Ford Falcon on the Oxley Highway near Gunnedah.

Police had been searching for the car about 6.30pm after several calls from motorists about the manner of driving.

Adams admitted to police he had had “six 750mL bottles of beer” that day before he blew a blood alcohol reading of 0.263.

A subsequent search showed he was disqualified from driving after a previous high-range drink-driving offence just three months before.

In July, Adams was behind the wheel of the same car when he came under notice for stopping in the middle of the road at Gunnedah before taking off again.

He was pulled over on Rodney St and, according to the police facts, the officer noticed he “smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor  and swayed from side to side occasionally.”

He was again arrested and this time blew a reading of 0.251.

On that occasion, Adams told the officers he had had his first drink at 6.30am and downed his last at 6.40pm – a 12-hour drinking session.

Solicitor Matt Kwan said since he was refused bail in October, Adams had “committed to living a life of sobriety”.

“He has made recent attempts to address his alcoholism,” he said.

The court heard the 49-year-old had a long-standing problem with alcohol which had started when he started drinking at 16.

But Magistrate Prowse said Adams’ freedom was up. “You have done very little, if anything, to address your alcoholism,” he said.

He sentenced Adams to 15 months’ jail for high-range drink-driving, with a nine-month concurrent sentence for driving while disqualified dating back to October when he first went into custody.

He was then ordered to spend up to a further two years behind bars for the second high-range offence.

Despite an early guilty plea, Magistrate Prowse said he had to hand down a maximum sentence.

“To impose anything other than the maximum penalty is ridiculous,” he said.

With good behaviour, Adams will be eligible for parole in December 2015.

But he won’t be able to get behind the wheel for much longer – his licence has been disqualified for at least seven years.

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