Three high-range drink drivers caught after collisions

THREE drivers charged with high-range PCA escaped accidents with no injuries, Orange Local Court has heard.

Troy Knox-Niven, Kathleen Margaret McKeown and Kijou Gwon each faced one count of the drink-driving charge on Monday and were each suspended for six months with a two-year interlock period once they are eligible for their licences. 

Knox-Niven, 45, of Cypress Street, was found inside his grey Jeep Cherokee, which had rolled onto its side against another car at the intersection of Woodward and Moulder streets, in the early hours of June 26.

He registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.165.

The police statement said Knox-Niven was released from the vehicle and asked if he had drunk anything in the past 15 minutes – he replied he had drunk three to four glasses of wine in the past five hours with no food and when his reading was revealed, he asked police, “that’s pretty low, isn’t it?”

His solicitor, Tim Dalla, said his client pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and completed the traffic offenders intervention program.

“If everyone came out of the program like this, that would be a job well done,” he said.

Magistrate Terry Lucas said the narrow escape concerned the court most, but he had exceeded expectations in the program, fining him $1600.

Cargo resident McKeown, 50, registered a reading of 0.167 after her Ford Falcon sedan failed to negotiate a righthand bend on Cargo Road just after 4pm on December 30 and collided with a table drain.

Police said emergency services were called to the scene and helped her escape through the passenger door and she told police she did not know how her car ended up against the drain.

Her solicitor, Michael Madden, said his client had eaten lunch with friends that day, she lived just two kilometres away and made it just 500 metres when the incident occurred.

“It was out of character – she’s worked on fundraisers in Cargo and she’s involved in the parents association where her children go to school,” he said.

“She’s a person who’s very community-minded.”

Mr Lucas also fined her $1600.

“I think you’re lucky you didn’t injure yourself of some other person,” he said.

March Street resident Kijou Gwon, 43, was charged after drinking wine at a friend’s house and registered a reading of 0.176 on August 7.

The green P-plater was pulled over just before 10pm after police spotted her travelling south along the northbound lane of Peisley Street before mounting the median strip at the roundabout of Peisley and Dalton streets. 

Her solicitor, Bill Walsh, asked Mr Lucas not to give her a good behaviour bond in case it affected her 457 visa and she had limited means to pay a fine.

Mr Lucas recognised she had completed the traffic program and fined her $700.