It was the 10 cans of beer and not what he claimed was a lack of power steering that caused Lindley Robert Urquhart to crash his car through a roundabout.
The beer meant the 22-year-old Albury man had a blood alcohol reading that magistrate Tony Murray pointed out was almost three times the legal limit.
Mr Murray asked Urquhart in Albury Local Court just why he would even consider driving when he clearly was so affected by the grog.
“Not thinking straight,” was his reply.
Urquhart pleaded guilty this week to charges of driving while licence suspended and driving with a mid-range prescribed concentration of alcohol.
Because of the aggravated circumstances of Urquhart’s case, Mr Murray said he had no choice but to order a pre-sentence report.
That was in order to determine whether there were any non-jail options available for Urquhart, who represented himself.
The incident that led to his court appearance took place as Urquhart drove north in the area of Poole and Sackville streets. Police said Urquhart failed to negotiate the roundabout and instead “straight-lined” the intersection.
He crashed into the kerb on the north-west side of the road and then, as he continued driving on the wrong side of the road, headed straight at a police car coming from the opposite direction.
The officers had to take evasive action and head towards the kerb to avoid Urquhart’s car.
They then did a u-turn and followed him, stopping him on Gap Road near the North Street intersection.
When they approached Urquhart they noticed he was “very relaxed” and “appeared slow in his movements”. “Sorry,” he told them, “I’ve got no power steering.”
Urquhart could not walk straight and so the officers had to help him lean against a car.
One of Urquhart’s two male passengers appreciated their mate being pulled over.
“Thank you, thank you,” he said. “I thought he was going to f … g kill us.”
Urquhart’s blood alcohol reading was 0.148. He will be sentenced on September 28.