Student forced to learn costly lesson about the pit-falls of drink-driving

LESSON FOR STUDENT: A magistrate has delivered a message to a drink-driving student.
LESSON FOR STUDENT: A magistrate has delivered a message to a drink-driving student.

WHEN hearing a drink-driving matter against a 19-year-old Charles Sturt University student, magistrate Michael Allen said his message was a simple one.

He told Patrick James Fahy, of Avonlea Place, Orange that while it is fine to have a few beers and enjoy yourself socially, you don’t get behind the wheel of a car. 

Mr Fahy was stopped by police at Mount Panorama in Bathurst after he came to their notice for driving erratically on Pit Straight while displaying P-plates.

A blood alcohol reading of .059 was taken resulting in a charge of driving with the low range prescribed concentration of alcohol in his blood.

 “I can speak to you until I am blue in the face - but it’s a simple message,” Mr Allen said.

The court was told that at 4.30pm on April 21 police were patrolling Mount Panorama when they saw a driver with P-plates driving erratically down Pit Straight.

Police followed the vehicle and caught up with it in Hinton Road. There were three males in the car.

Solicitor Evan Dowd said the accused drove to The Towers on the CSU campus with the intention of taking a bus to the races. He ended up having two beers, missed the bus and instead drove to the Mount Panorama circuit. 

Mr Fahy is studying nursing at CSU. Mr Dowd said he needs his licence because he is currently working as a wardsman at Orange hospital.  He also has a practical course in two-and-a-half months.

The solicitor said the accused does not get any Centrelink benefits and is a man of limited means.

“His remorse is clear,” he said.

“He takes this matter seriously. He has done the traffic offenders’ program, and his parents are here with him today.”

Mr Allen said the young man’s prospects are good, he has a good work ethic, and is working hard to make ends meet.

He fined Mr Fahy $250 and disqualified him from driving for three months.