Drink driver too ashamed to ask friends for character references

ASHAMED: Joel Grahame Beldham was a 22-year-old sales assistant when he was caught driving with a mid-range blood-alcohol reading of 0.143.

ASHAMED: Joel Grahame Beldham was a 22-year-old sales assistant when he was caught driving with a mid-range blood-alcohol reading of 0.143.

A MAN who was caught drink-driving told the Orange Local Court he was too embarrassed and ashamed of what he had done that he could not ask friends to write character references. 

Joel Grahame Beldham was a 22-year-old sales assistant when he was caught driving with a mid-range blood-alcohol reading of 0.143.

He was a provisional licence holder and the legal limit for that licence was zero. 

His solicitor Ashley Moxey said, on Thursday, her client had completed a traffic offenders program and had co-operated with the police.

“He is deeply remorseful for his behaviour,” she said. 

Beldham was seen at 1.55am on Sunday, February 16, by police who were patrolling the central business district. 

Officers pulled his car over for a mobile breath test and he blew a positive result. 

Police facts said the Autumn Street resident smelled of alcohol and “appeared to be moderately affected by liquor”. 

He told officers back at the police station he had consumed six glasses of wine at a 21st birthday party at Newstead Bowling Club between 6pm and midnight. 

His licence was immediately suspended.

Ms Moxey told the magistrate, Terry Lucas, Beldham had only one speeding ticket on his driving record.

She said her client had a small income and therefore a limited capacity to pay a fine. 

Mr Lucas said Beldham would have been pulled over for a mobile breath test because he was driving at 1.55am. 

He said he told offenders in court “time and time again” that if they chose to drive drunk at that time in the morning it was the same as waving a red flag in front of a bull. 

“You will get caught, you will get stopped and you will come to court,” he said. 

Beldham was given a 12-month good-behaviour bond with a conviction and disqualified from driving for eight months. 

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