A BAC that Derby Police claim shouldn't even be possible. Picture: Derby Police
A BAC that Derby Police claim shouldn't even be possible. Picture: Derby Police

Driver’s crazy excuse for blowing 0.341

A WESTERN Australian man who drove with so much alcohol in his body he "should have been in a coma" has pleaded guilty in Derby Magistrates Court to multiple offences.

The 36-year-old returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.341 after being nabbed by police in Derby in the early hours of January 10.

The court heard the father had wanted to drive home after a drinking session at a private home because he was concerned about the safety of his Suzuki Swift.

The man, whose driver's licence has been suspended for life, has now had five DUI arrests.

On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and no authority to drive.

When asked his reasons for getting behind the wheel, he responded: "I didn't want my car to be around a stranger's house who I don't even know. That's my property".

His lawyer, Ted Wilkinson from Legal Aid in Derby, told the court that when his client "he drinks quite a lot".

"He didn't intend to drive but he was concerned about possible damage to his car," Mr Wilkinson told the court.

Derby is located in the remote Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Picture: Google Maps
Derby is located in the remote Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Picture: Google Maps

The magistrate Elizabeth Langdon said a term of imprisonment was on the cards, due to the man's long history of DUIs.

"It's unbelievable you're alive, most people on 0.341 are in a coma, let alone behind the wheel," she said.

"That's a ridiculously high reading, exceptional.

"I'm thinking jail or a pre-sentence order. Obviously, you need to do something about your drinking."

Taking to social media after the man's arrest, officers from Derby Police posted a photo of the man's alcohol reading, which was equivalent to being under the influence of a surgical anaesthetic.

"The male subject to a breath test by Derby Police this morning provided a reading that biologically shouldn't even be possible," the station wrote.

"The male had a BAC of 0.341% which is like driving while under a surgical anaesthetic or being in a coma. Oh, and he has two prior life disqualifications."

Yesterday the magistrate placed the father on a pre-sentence order and assigned him to an alcohol rehabilitation program.

He will be sentenced on May 15.

The father has already undergone several intensive residential alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Yet he's confident that he can give up the booze.

"I've done it before so I can always do it again. I've beaten my record already, it was 10 weeks before and now I've done 13.5 weeks," he said outside court.

Asked how he felt driving with a 0.341 blood alcohol level, he replied: "I felt all right, I knew where I was going".

He added that he wishes to be "a better role model" for his 15-year-old son.

Leah McLennan is a freelance journalist based in the Kimberley. Continue the conversation @LeahMcLennan


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