Sleepy driver three times limit in parked car mishap

AWOKEN by a loud bang at 7am, an Ipswich resident went outside to find a sleeping driver at the wheel of a car that had crashed into his beloved Kia Rio.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the resident called police to the crash scene in Norfolk St, Springfield Lakes.

Prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnelly said police also received information that the driver then tried to start his car.

On arrival, officers saw one car with front-end damage and its front registration plate embedded into the rear of the resident's Kia Rio.

The hapless driver, Ricky Theodore Thomas, 26, from One Mile, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol on Wednesday, October 10.

Sgt Donnelly said Thomas was tested, giving an alcohol reading of 0.153.

"He says he drank alcohol a few hours before. And pulled up there and accidentally put the vehicle into drive," he said.

Sgt Donnelly said the Rio's owner told police that he left his parked car 3-4m from where it was found.

Defence lawyer Michael Burrows said he had several references to tender for the IT project manager and sought for no conviction be recorded due to the "very unusual circumstances" in what happened in the lead-up.

Mr Burrows said Thomas had been under extreme pressure because of personal matters, and a former friend been charged over an armed robbery, and he was a witness in a court case.

That night, while visiting a friend, Thomas had been emotional and drank before making a stupid and irresponsible decision to drive the car.

Mr Burrows said Thomas realised he was a danger (after a couple of kilometres) so pulled his car over to sleep it off.

"He heard a crash, said Mr Burrows.

"He'd fallen asleep, turned the car key on to put on the air conditioner. It bumped into the car.

"The owner of the car woke him by banging on his car and police were called.

"He only attempted to move the car back. Not attempt to drive away."

Magistrate Melanie Ho noted that his alcohol reading was .153 and that Thomas, when apprehended, had been found slumped in his car after it impacted into a parked car.

She said the references showed he was a man of good character and a generous personality, who had been going through personal difficulties and was it unfortunate he now found himself in this predicament.

Thomas provided evidence that a conviction would impact his employment.

He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for six months.

A conviction was not recorded.



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