Rehab wards off jail time

A SOLICITOR representing an Albury man nabbed twice in three years for high-range drink-driving yesterday conceded in court a term in jail was warranted.

But Shaun Mortimer said in Albury Local Court that Terrence Dean Johnson had completed an alcohol rehabilitation course since his arrest which should be considered.

“His record would make a sentence of imprisonment inevitable,” Mr Mortimer said.

Magistrate Tony Murray agreed and told Johnson: “Apart from successful completion of the rehabilitation program, you would have been going to jail”.

“This is a really positive report that has been tendered to the court.”

Johnson, 44, of Hakea Place, was put on a three-month suspended sentence.

Mr Murray ordered him to complete a drink-driver education course and disqualified him for two years backdated to when his licence was suspended.

The court was told police were in Dean Street, Albury, about 8.10pm on January 20.

They saw Johnson driving a white Commodore in Spencer Street and he accelerated harshly causing his car to momentarily lose traction.

He was followed to the intersection of Swift Street and Olive Street where police directed him to stop.

When they spoke to him, Johnson said: “I’ve been drinking all afternoon”.

A breath-test was positive and he was arrested and taken back to the station.

Johnson gave a reading of 0.171 in his breath analysis.

He told police he had some chicken and salad about noon, but that he drank six glasses of wine between then and 6pm.

Police notified him of an immediate driving suspension and he had attended the station the following day to hand in his licence.

Mr Mortimer said Johnson had attended a 12-week rehabilitation course at an Aboriginal healing centre known as Warrakoo Station.