Simon Roper crashed his vehicle on New Year's Day.
Simon Roper crashed his vehicle on New Year's Day.

Nine times over limit

TWO motorists charged with appalling driving offences on the Sunshine Coast fronted different courts yesterday.

Maleny man Simon Roper was charged with driving nine times over the limit on New Year’s Day, returning a blood alcohol concentration of 0.433%, one of the highest readings ever in the state.

He pleaded not guilty in Caloundra Magistrates Court.

Mr Roper was charged with high-range drink-driving after he crashed the vehicle he was driving on Hakea Avenue in Maleny about 11.30 am on New Year’s Day.

The 40-year-old former newspaper editor had allegedly driven on to the wrong side of the road before crashing into a tree.

His blood alcohol reading was just under the highest reading ever believed to have been recorded in the state – 0.49% blown by a man in Ayr, north Queensland in 1997.

Mr Roper did not have legal representation when he appeared before Magistrate Di Fingleton yesterday.

He asked for his case to be adjourned and told Ms Fingleton he intended to plead not guilty.

Mr Roper said he would be represented by solicitor Mark Stower of Caboolture Legal Centre at his next court appearance scheduled for March 4.

At Nambour, Gregory McKee fronted the magistrate’s court for an alleged incident on December 6 last year.

He was allegedly caught driving while nearly twice the legal limit and speeding more than double the speed limit on a section of road that had an accident in which four lives were lost.

Mr McKee, 29, pleaded guilty to drink-driving on the Nambour Connection Road near the Woombye turn-off where five-year-old twins Grace and Jessica and their grandmother Denise Mansell, 60, were killed in a two vehicle crash on May 8 last year.

The driver of the other vehicle, Anthony Thomson, was also killed and his passenger was injured.

It was 6.30pm when an unmarked police car was overtaken by Mr McKee in a Hyundai Excel which had clocked 154kmh in a 70kmh zone.

He was pulled over and breath-tested, he returned a blood alcohol content of 0.09%.

Mr McKee faced court on the drink-driving charge. He was fined $600 and his licence was suspended for four months.

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