Drink-driver hit hard by mother's illness

AN emergency department nurse who drove while extremely intoxicated in Warrnambool after finding out his mother had terminal cancer has lost his licence for 21 months.

Quinn Toohey, 28, of Glenvale Road, Ringwood North, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to drink-driving. He was convicted and fined $750 with $110 costs.

Defence counsel Matt Senia said Toohey’s partner lived in Warrnambool and at the time of the offending had just found out his mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He said it was a very difficult time in his client’s life. Toohey was not coping well, drank heavily at a Warrnambool hotel and at 12.30am on December 2 made the decision to drive home. Mr Senia said Toohey’s mother died on Boxing Day.

Police said Toohey went to a hotel about 8pm and had consumed heavy beer until he drove home. He was intercepted on King Street after a witness reported his erratic driving to police. Toohey recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .21 and told police he had no excuse for driving.

Magistrate Michael Coghlan said Toohey would have seen the effects of drink-driving through his work and the road trauma it caused. He said the witness who reported him to police may have done him a favor and he was caught before he was involved in an accident.

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