45 not out - driver blows .377

SHANE Mann had almost 45 standard drinks before driving his car and crashing into a sign in South Albury, according to his solicitor’s calculations.

Solicitor Jason Hanke said Mann, 37, of Melbourne, drank six bottles and one glass of wine over an estimated 28-hour period before driving.

He flattened a road sign and the front number plate of his vehicle was left at the scene when he drove erratically to Mate Street.

Mann sought assistance from a friend associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and drank another two bottles of wine while waiting for him.

His friend took Mann to the Albury police station where he was incoherent and unable to stand without support.

He was not breath tested due to health concerns and was taken to Albury hospital by ambulance for observation.

A blood sample was taken which revealed a blood alcohol reading of 0.377.

Mann, 37, appeared in Albury Local Court for sentencing yesterday on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr Hanke said Mann had abstained from alcohol since the incident and two days after his arrest went into residential rehabilitation.

He is estranged from his wife and two children, who are living in Albury, but is attempting to restore his relationship.

Mann is living with his parents in Huntingdale, has been unemployed since May and wants to resolve his alcohol problem before going back to work.

The court was told in tendered police facts Mann started drinking at midday on May 12.

About 4.40pm the next day he hit the sign in Atkins Street, and his friend took him to the police station an hour later.

The blood sample was taken from him at the hospital at about 6.40pm.

“He is deeply remorseful for his offending,” Mr Hanke said.

Magistrate Tony Murray said Mann’s true blood alcohol reading was contaminated by him consuming more wine after he ceased driving.

“Unfortunately it is just a drunken binge you went on over a period of time,” Mr Murray said.

He said Mann had no previous convictions, had held a Victorian driver’s licence for 19 years and had a good traffic record.

“You have made important steps to address your alcohol issues,” he said.

Mann faced a maximum disqualification of 12 months with a minimum period of six months.

He received a two-year bond and was sent to a drink-driver education course, fined $800 and disqualified for eight months.