Man narrowly avoids jail after fleeing drunken crash
A MAN has come close to spending time behind bars after denying his involvement in a crash.
Brett James Kirby pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to one count of driving under the influence of liquor and driving while disqualified by a court order.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court at 11.10pm on February 16 police were called to a crash on Avoca St.
The driver of the car was seen running away from the scene.
The dog squad tracked Kirby on the corner of Avoca St and Avoca Rd.
Kirby denied any knowledge of the crash to police.
He was taken back to the scene of the crash where inside the car a wallet containing his ID, bank and Medicare cards was found.
Kirby denied driving the car saying it was his partner who was driving.
He was then taken back to the Bundaberg Police Station for further questioning and a breath test which returned a reading of 0.276.
Sgt Burgess said Kirby was disqualified from driving at the time, and also had previous drink driving in his history.
He said a term of imprisonment was in range for Kirby.
Kirby's lawyer Matthew Messenger submitted to the court a term of imprisonment wholly suspended was within range for Kirby.
"He gets disqualified for a reading of .214 for 14 months, then he unlawfully uses a car while disqualified and is given one month's suspended sentence and disqualified for two years," said Magistrate Andrew Moloney.
"The suspended sentence period has passed and been for some time, but then he's 0.276 still in breach of a court order, why shouldn't I send him Mr Messenger? He doesn't care."
Mr Messenger told the court Kirby had since been addressing his issues with alcohol by way of counselling and a hospital detox program.
He said his client had the support of his wife who had stuck by him.
Mr Moloney took into account Kirby's plea of guilty and the size of the reading.
"You crashed a motor vehicle, you shouldn't have even been in a car, the law told you not to," he said.
"You put yourself and members of the community at risk with your very selfish behaviour.
"If you hadn't gone to Bridges to at least get some counselling, if hadn't detoxed - you would be going to prison today.
"You're playing with fire if you think you can handle alcohol with your history."
Kirby was sentenced to six months imprisonment which was suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to complete 18 months probation.
Kirby was also disqualified from holding a licence for two years and 15 months.