AN emergency trip to the mechanic is no excuse to drink and drive as Craig Matthew Hort found out in Orange Local Court last week.
The 22-year-old of Garra was seen speeding by Orange police at 8.38pm on Friday, January 10.
Officers then watched him turn into William Street, where police found him parked out the front of John Spicer’s Mechanical Repairs.
He told officers he had been drinking.
His blood-alcohol reading was 0.072, in the low range category, and he said he had drank three stubbies of Carlton Dry between 6pm and 8pm.
His solicitor Mason Manwaring told the court it was his first prescribed concentration of alcohol offence but it was his second major offence in five years.
“In 2011 there was a speed dangerous and he was unrepresented on that day, perhaps if he was represented ... it might have been a different outcome,” he said.
Mr Manwaring said Hort had not intended to drive but he had discovered his car had a mechanical problem and he needed to get it fixed before he could leave Orange to head home.
He received a phone call from a friend who said there was someone at John Spicer’s Mechanical Repairs who could fix the problem but he would have to be there immediately, Mr Manwaring said.
Hort is a boilermaker who travels to Dubbo, Parkes and Orange for work in mines.
“He tells me he’ll probably keep his employment,” Mr Manwaring said.
Magistrate, Terry Lucas, said it was sad to see the young man back before the Court.
“If your licence is so important to you then you need to guard it,” he said.
Hort was fined $700 and disqualified from driving for six months.