Licence suspended: dead drunk and parked in the middle of the road

DRINK-driving in the high range category has cost Leslie David Venner his livelihood and his licence.

Sentencing Venner in Orange Local Court magistrate Terry Lucas sympathised with Venner who has no income without a licence.

“I am sorry to hear what has happened to you, but for everything there is a consequence and I was considering jail,” Mr Lucas said.

Venner was caught by police after he pulled his vehicle up so he could have a sleep after drinking out of town with friends.

Venner’s solicitor Philip Boncardo told the court his client had worked for three quarters of the day in his own timber milling business before joining friends for a card game in the Mullion area.

“An altercation broke out and my client decided to extricate himself from the situation by leaving,” Mr Boncardo said.

He told the court to his client’s credit he realised he was tired and intoxicated and decided to stop his vehicle and have a sleep.

“But the car was in the middle of the road when the police found him,”  Mr Lucas said.

Mr Boncardo went on to tell the court his client had to sell off all his work equipment including a bobcat to earn an income and pay his legal fees since Venner’s licence was suspended in September last year.

Mr Boncardo told the court his client had issues with depression and turned to alcohol for self-medication.

However he said he has benefited from the magistrates’ early referral into treatment (MERIT) program and staff of the program had been very supportive.

“He had his power cut off with no income and they kindly provided him with a gas stove for cooking,” Mr Boncardo said.

“They have gone above and beyond to help my client,” Mr Boncardo said.

Venner was fined $200 for resisting police when they breath tested him in September 2013 and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He will be eligible to reapply for his licence on September 29.

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