Drink-driver causes over $50k damage crashing into house
A POOR decision by one drink-driver has resulted in more than $50,000 in damages.
Jason Charlton-Little was intoxicated when he drove unlicensed on Upper Dawson Road, while not wearing a seat belt.
He lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a two-storey house.
He caused just over $25,000 damage to the house and wrote off his car, which he has $28,000 outstanding on his bank loan for.
Charlton-Little, 31, pleaded guilty on December 4 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of driving without a licence, failing to wear a seatbelt, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and driving while under the influence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Janes said the vehicle could be heard producing excessive engine noise as well as screeching tyres on May 29.
"It left the roadway on the southern side of Nathan St, onto the footpath, narrowly missing walking pedestrians," he said.
"The vehicle has then crossed Nathan St, narrowly missing children of a witness."
Sgt Janes said the vehicle continued through a fence of a residence on Upper Dawson Rd at speed.
He said the vehicle crashed into low-baring posts of the two-storey house on the corner of Nathan St and Upper Dawson Rd, causing significant structural damage.
Sgt Janes said Charlton-Little exited the vehicle and approached a witness, saying "sorry" before fleeing the scene on foot.
He said witnesses chased Charlton-Little and detained him until police arrived.
Sgt Janes said Charlton-Little denied being the driver to police and stated he had consumed 14 alcoholic beverages.
He said police observed him to be unsteady on his feet and smelt strongly of liquor.
Charlton-Little was taken by Queensland Ambulance Service to hospital, and he discharged himself before police attended the hospital.
Defence lawyer Brendan Gimbert said his client had grown up and lived in Parkes, New South Wales, until he relocated to Central Queensland to care for his mother who had dementia and back issues.
He said Charlton-Little's licence had expired two months prior to the drink-drive incident and he had not renewed it, instead relying on buses, taxis and Ubers.
Mr Gimbert said his client had 14 beers throughout the day, starting at 10am, on May 29, and had been on painkillers for a painful wrist.
He said Charlton-Little wrote his car off in the crash and still owed $28,000 on a car loan.
Mr Gimbert said due to Charlton-Little's inability to repay the car loan, he was likely going to have to declare bankruptcy in the New Year.
He said Chartlon-Little would not have the financial capacity to pay restitution to Alliance Insurance for the house damage.
Charlton-Little had no traffic or criminal history.
Magistrate Jason Schubert said this was very serious offending.
"It is only by pure luck that none of these community members, or child, was killed or seriously injured," he said.
Mr Schubert ordered Charlton-Little to 12 months' prison to be served as an Intensive Correction Order (which means he serves the whole sentence in the community, reporting regularly, undergoing rehabilitation programs and perform community service).
Charlton-Little was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Convictions were recorded and no restitution orders were made.