‘The worst decision I ever made’

BRENDAN Andrew McDowell was drunk and driving with a suspended licence when he crashed his unregistered vehicle carrying false plates into another car at a Lavington intersection.

His $15,000 car was towed away and written off and McDowell was fined $2800 and banned from driving for two years in Albury Local Court yesterday.

“It is the worst decision I have ever made,” he said of his driving.

McDowell, 34, of Sutherland Street, Lavington, appeared for sentencing on charges of high-range drink-driving, driving when his licence was suspended, using an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, unlawful possession of number plates and failing to pay car tax.

Magistrate Tony Murray imposed fines totalling $2800 and ordered McDowell to perform 150 hours of community service.

Mr Murray said anyone who reached a blood alcohol reading of 0.20 had a recognised problem with alcohol.

McDowell was driving in a Commodore on Wagga Road about 9.30pm on March 10 and attempted to turn into Dick Road.

But he did not give way to an approaching Prado, which hit the passenger side of his car.

McDowell continued to briefly drive after the collision until his car stopped in the middle of the road.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged and had to be towed.

Police arrived a short time later and McDowell was identified by the driver and a passenger from the other car.

Officers spoke to McDowell while he was being treated by ambulance staff and said it was evident he had consumed a large amount of alcohol.

He was taken to the Albury hospital by ambulance and a blood sample was taken which showed a blood alcohol reading of 0.215.

McDowell’s licence had been suspended on July 18 last year for a fine default.

The number plates on his car belonged to another vehicle and he was unable to explain why he put them on.

McDowell admitted to police he was aware his licence was suspended.