'I had a few': driver hits the bottle in his car for the last time in next two years

HIGH: A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for high-range drink-driving.

HIGH: A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for high-range drink-driving.

A MAN who was driving with more than four times the legal prescribed concentration of alcohol told police he knew he would have a high reading because he “just had a sip”.

Brian Mathew Clarke, of Todd Place, was given a suspended jail sentence for 12 months for driving with a blood-alcohol reading of 0.225 and banned from driving for two years in Orange Local Court last week. 

Police statements said the 41-year-old produced a two thirds empty longneck bottle from within the car after officers pulled him over on Saturday, November 30 at 2.45am in Summer street. 

A member of the public tipped off police about Clarke after the witness saw him at a service station.

The witness believed he was drunk and intended to drive. 

Clarke had previously spent time in jail for aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, had previous drink-driving offences and had committed a string of traffic infringements, which resulted in a habitual offenders status being slapped on him in 2004. 

When police attended the service station to speak with Clarke, he had trouble finding his licence in his wallet and officers said he had a great deal of trouble speaking clearly. 

Police attempted to breath test Clarke, but he said he could not participate because he had “mouth alcohol”.

He then produced a bottle of beer he had been drinking in the car. 

“I’m gunna have a high reading because ... I just had a sip,” he said. 

Police waited for 10 minutes before subjecting Clarke to a roadside breath test, which was positive. 

“Yeah, I had a few,” he said 

Clarke told police he had consumed three or four stubbies and a longneck bottle of Tooheys New.

He said he had started drinking at 5pm the previous day. 

Police said Clarke had bloodshot eyes and officers could smell alcohol coming from the car.

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