Donnellan suspended for six months

A MAN who returned a blood alcohol reading more than twice the legal limit has been fined $1200 and disqualified from driving for six months in Orange Local Court.

Joshua Donnellan, 25, of Whitney Place, faced a charge of mid-range PCA after an incident on April 18.

According to the police statement, Donnellan was driving his white Ford Laser westbound on Casey Street at about 5.40pm before turning onto Hill Street.

However, a Lexus four-wheel drive was travelling along Hill Street at the time and hit the Laser, causing it to spin.

Extensive damage was caused to the front of the Lexus and the side of the Laser and both cars had to be towed from the scene.

Donnellan suffered a cut to his nose, while the Lexus driver was uninjured.

Police said an altercation ensued between the two drivers before Donnellan ran from the scene.

Police found Donnellan in the front yard of a Casey Street house crying uncontrollably.

He registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.124 and admitted to drinking a six-pack of beers before setting off.

In court, his solicitor Michael Madden pointed to the police statement where it noted his remorse.

“He told police, ‘it’s all my fault, I’ve been drinking, my God I hope no one is hurt’,” he said.

Mr Madden said his client had completed the traffic offenders program and the MERIT program, including two months of residential rehabilitation following the offence, no longer drank and ensured he took medication to control his anxiety.

He told the court the death of his son in August 2015 had prompted Donnellan to turn to alcohol.

“He has struggled and obtained third party assistance to deal with the grief of his son, not sitting at home stewing over personal problems, which is what he did that day,” he said.

“He wanted to get out but he only made it three blocks when the incident occurred.”

Mr Madden said he was the only licence holder in the household and the family had since moved closer to his daughter’s school so they could walk her.

Donnellan had previous drink-driving offences in 2008, 2012 and earlier this year.

Magistrate Terry Lucas told Donnellan it was his last warning before jail.

“I’m told you no longer drink and that’s great,” he said.

Mr Lucas added a two-year interlock period to the disqualification period.