IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.
IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.

Police not sold on salesman’s sauced-up driving decisions

FROM the outside, Dale Philip Grace appeared to have it made - a wife of two years, a 16-month-old child, his own house and a career in sales.

But Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard how questionable choices and issues with alcohol put that all at risk.

This is after he drove a vehicle with a shredded tyre and was busted for high-range drink driving.

Police had spotted the 26-year in-old in his vehicle, which they had been searching for, in relation to a prior incident.

The car which had a shredded rear tyre on the right side, was followed by police down Thabeban St, straight through the roundabout on Fitzgerald St, before entering Eden Estate.

Activating the emergency light signal, police attempted to get the defendant to pull over but the court heard he continued driving for approximately 500m before turning into the driveway of a private residence.

Police saw the vehicle still had a hitch attached to it, but the trailer had broken away and the tyre was so badly damaged Grace had been driving on the rim of the wheel.

Emerging from the vehicle, the defendant identified himself to police who arrested him in relation to the prior offence.

They said Grace appeared unsteady on his feet, his breath smelt like alcohol and he was combative with police.

A blood-alcohol test returned a positive reading of 0.163% and police said due to the defendant being highly intoxicated, he was unable to be interviewed at the time.


Grace pleaded guilty to one charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

His defence lawyer told the magistrate it was not his "manner of driving" that was a problem, but the state of the vehicle.

Prior to the incident, the defendant worked as a salesman for a family business for eight months, before relocating to Bundaberg, where he continued work for the organisation for an additional two months.

As a result of the incident, he was no longer working despite being the sole provider for his mortgage and had involuntarily booked himself in to the mental health clinic at Bundaberg Hospital, where he stayed as an inpatient for one week and was treated for his issues with alcohol.

In addition to alcoholism, the court heard Grace also struggled with depression and anxiety, had been medicated for the last 16 months and was also seeing a psychologist.

He was fined $1000 and disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's license for six months. No conviction was recorded.

If you need help phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.
IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.