Drink driver finds text message from female friend too tempting

Cameron Vardanega has been disqualified for six months for drink-driving.

Cameron Vardanega has been disqualified for six months for drink-driving.

A LATE-night text message from a female friend proved too tempting for a 22-year-old Orange man who chose to drive to her house after he had consumed seven beers. 

Cameron Paul Vardanega appeared in Orange Local Court on Thursday, charged with mid-range drink-driving after he was pulled over for a random breath test at 12.35am on April 26.

His solicitor Kim Rickards told the magistrate, Terry Lucas, his client had been drinking all day, on Anzac Day, with his family and later his friends and had never intended to leave his home on Cargo Road. 

That was until he received the text message. 

“He is aware he exercised very poor judgment,” Mr Rickards said. 

“I’d ask your honour to consider the contrition he feels is real.”

The 22-year-old man drove from his  home west of Nashdale and was pulled over for a random breath test by police near the intersection of Kenna Street and Collwood Crescent.

He returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.085 and police said Vardanega was unsteady on his feet and was moderately affected by alcohol. 

He told officers he drank seven 375 ml cans of XXXX Gold between 11am and 6pm. 

Mr Rickards said his client had picked up a job at Pinnacle Drilling and had been there for the last eight months. 

His employers said he was a “good, reliable, employee who is progressing well”, and Mr Rickards said the last three months Vardanega had been unable to drive had put his job in “extreme peril”.

Mr Lucas sentenced Vardanega to a disqualification period of six months, which was the minimum, and fined him $850. 

His suspension was backdated to the date of the crime. 

Mr Lucas said he could not give Vardanega a reduced sentence because of his bad driving record.

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