Fined and disqualified: drink driver can only 'remember waking up in hospital'

DANGEROUS TRIP: Police found a man who attempted to drive to Molong passed out in his car.
DANGEROUS TRIP: Police found a man who attempted to drive to Molong passed out in his car.

A 17-YEAR-OLD drink-driver who tried to drive from Spring Hill to his home in Molong was so intoxicated when police found him on the Mitchell Highway, officers called an ambulance for him. 

Joel Andrew Goff, now 19, was found on a stretch of the Mitchell Highway, 18 kilometres from Orange at Belgravia, passed out in a pool of vomit in his car at 10pm Tuesday August 13, 2013. 

There is 50 kilometres between Spring Hill and Molong.

Police facts said a witness, who drove passed Goff, pulled over because Goff’s vehicle was parked partially on the road where B-double trucks passed by at around 100 km/h. 

The witness told police they attempted to revive Goff several times and eventually he woke up and attempted to put his keys in the ignition. 

The witness called police. 

His solicitor Philip Boncardo told Orange Local Court his client appreciated he should not have been driving “at all” given his age and he had since completed a driver’s education course as well as a magistrate’s early referral into treatment (MERIT) course to address alcohol issues. 

“Prior to completing MERIT he was drinking on a regular basis, a daily basis, that has now stopped,” he said. 

“He’s someone who has grown up a significant amount.”

Police found Goff slumped over the driver’s seat and officers found bottles strewn through the car. 

Officers said they tried to talk with Goff but he “could not comprehend anything”. 

Eventually police decided to call an ambulance for the driver and officers attempted to keep his airway open until paramedics arrived. 

Days later police interviewed Goff at the station and he told them he did not know how he ended up on the Mitchell Highway after going to a licensed venue in Spring Hill. 

“I couldn’t tell you, I just remember waking up in hospital,” he said. 

A blood sample taken at Molong hospital from Goff showed he had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.184 which was considered a high-range reading. 

Magistrate, Terry Lucas, fined Goff $1000 and disqualified him from driving for six months. 

“You are obviously a person with a great future.

“You get one life ... it could have been terminated that night or you could have terminated someone else’s life that night,” Mr Lucas told Goff.