A PORTLAND man who crashed his car into a tree was nearly five times over the blood-alcohol limit, a court has heard.
Peter Darren Males, 44, of Fawthrop Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court last week to drink-driving and reckless driving.
The court heard that on the afternoon of March 11 this year Males had consumed three bottles of scotch with friends and at the time he had been drinking up to 20 bottles each week.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Paul Harris said Males and two others had been drinking at a Portland home when Males left to drive home — only a kilometre away.
His friends tried to get the keys off the accused as he left the house.
“One of the witnesses physically wrestled with the accused but the keys were still in his hand,” Senior Constable Harris said.
Witnesses heard a loud bang only moments after Males left in his car.
“He veered on to the wrong side of the road, collided with a nature strip and hit a tree head on,” Senior Constable Harris said.
A witness helped free Males from the car, who’s foot was trapped beneath the accelerator pedal.
She went inside to call police and returned to the scene outside to find Males passed out of the nature strip.
Males gave a high blood-alcohol reading of .297 following the crash.
He was taken to Portland Base Hospital because of the “toxic” blood-alcohol level.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said his client had developed a severe alcohol addiction in the last six years.
“He’s attended Quamby House in Portland and attended about 18 sessions,” Mr Senia said. He said his client had cut down his drinking to two bottles of whisky a week and said his client had no previous cases before the court.
Magistrate Peter Mellas said he had seen other offenders with more severe alcohol problems improve their lives.
“You can do better,” Mr Mellas told Males.
Males was convicted and received a good behaviour bond on the condition he comply with medical treatment and advice.
“If they come up with a suggestion you follow through with it,” Mr Mellas told him.
Males was also banned from driving for 29 months.