$50,000 ute a write-off for drink-driver

RICHARD Trethowan took out a $47,000 loan for his $50,000 Commodore utility, but wrote if off when he accelerated too hard and flipped the vehicle which came to rest on its roof in an Albury driveway after hitting a gas pipe.

It happened about 7.40pm on July 17 in North Street, Albury, after Trethowan had consumed four schooners of beer over more than two hours.

The diesel mechanic registered a low-range blood alcohol reading, no longer has a vehicle and his job is in jeopardy after losing his driver’s licence for seven months.

Trethowan and a passenger in his car escaped unscathed, but when police and fire brigade officers arrived they noticed a strong smell of gas, resulting in an evacuation.

A gas pipe was leaking after being hit by the car and it was disconnected to make the scene safe.

Trethowan, 24, of Dowling Place, Yackandandah, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to a drink-driving offence with a reading of 0.061.

“Both you and your passenger are both lucky to walk away from the scene,” magistrate Tony Murray said when imposing a $400 fine and disqualification.

“This is a bad example of low-range drink-driving.”

Mr Murray said Trethowan’s vehicle insurance had been waived and he had lost his car, but his employer spoke about him in glowing terms.

Mr Murray said he was unable to accept that the offence was out of character because Trethowan had a previous drink-driving matter.

He had been at the Commercial Albury Golf Club and left through the lower end car park exit.

Trethowan attempted to turn left, accelerated too hard and his tyres lost traction with his vehicle mounting the opposite gutter.

It skidded along grass, went down a retained garden bed and flipped on its roof.

Trethowan and his passenger got out and walked away looking for help, but came back when police arrived at the scene.

Police took photographs of the vehicle, the damaged retaining wall and skid marks on the grass.