Driver walks free from court after fifth high-range reading
A BARGARA man with an "appalling" traffic history including five high range drink driving offences since 2007 has narrowly avoided serving time behind bars.
Nathan John Haager faced the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated at Bargara last month.
After accepting the solid plasterer's plea, Magistrate Belinda Merrin remanded Haager in custody overnight so she could consider the appropriate sentence, with the 32-year-old facing the real possibility of having to serve an actual term of imprisonment.
The court heard Haager's traffic history included a previous jail term for drink driving in 2011 after he recorded an blood alcohol limit of 0.214 per cent, more than four times the legal limit.
He also returned blood alcohol readings of 0.167 per cent in 2007 and 0.161 per cent and 0.143 per cent in 2008.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said it was on February 17 this year when Haager came to the attention of police because he appeared to be speeding along the Esplanade at Bargara.
The court heard Haager performed a u-turn, parked his car and ran before police caught up with him and told him to stop, which he did.
Telling police he was "probably over", Haager said he'd drunk six scotches and beers over a number of hours at his girlfriend's before driving home, the court heard.
"He ran from police knowing there was a risk jail would be a real option," Sgt Burgess said.
"He hasn't learnt and he's putting himself and others at risk."
Ms Merrin told lawyer Gavin James that Haager's traffic history painted a picture of a person who had no consideration for any one else on the road.
She also noted that Haager had been caught speeding in July, September and October last year.
"Your client seems to have no regard for the safety of other road users," she said.
"Not only is your client not learning from his past ... in recent times he's not complying with road regulations."
Ms Merrin warned Haager his actions had "put at risk his liberty".
But in sentencing Haager, Ms Merrin said she'd taken like cases into consideration and there were two mitigating factors which saved him from being locked up.
Firstly was that his most recent previous drink driving offence was more than five years ago and that this drink driving offence was not accompanied by a charge of driving while disqualified.
"It's only the absence of a similar charge that you've escaped serving an actual tern of imprisonment," Ms Merrin said.
She sentenced Haager to three months jail wholly suspended with an operational period of 12 months.
Haager was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.