Drink driver tells court of his costly decision to drive

A DRUNK driver who crashed into a parked car which then hit two more has lost his licence, been put on an interlock order and placed on a bond.

Andrew James Lotherington, 35, of Rocket Street in Bathurst appeared before magistrate Michael Allen in Bathurst Local Court last week where he pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving.

Police facts tendered to the court told how on the evening of April 2 this year, Lotherington was drinking beer at the Family Hotel when he decided to leave.

He got into his Ford Falcon and drove up Bentinck Street before turning into Piper Street.

It was there he crashed into a car that had been parked on the left hand side of the road.

There was no one in the parked vehicle but the collision caused a domino effect and, in total, four cars were damaged from the crash, including the car of the accused.

Police were called by a number of onlookers and officers arrived to find the accused still in the driver’s seat of his car with the door open.

Police approached and Lotherington said “yeah, I was driving”. He submitted to a roadside breath test which returned a positive result.

Lotherington was placed under arrest and taken to Bathurst police station where a breath analysis recorded a reading of 0.179, placing him in the high range.

References spoke of his remorse and embarrassment following the incident, and how he proactively assisted the owners of the cars he crashed into.

Two of the cars were totally written off and a third sustained $1344.64 in damages.

In a letter written to the court, Lotherington spoke of the effect the decision to drive has had on his life.

He said as he was drink driving, he was not covered by any insurance.

He had already taken out a personal loan and a redraw on his house loan to pay $25,854 which included paying for the two cars written off, the third car which was damaged, towing costs and solicitors’ fees.

He said by the time an interlock device is placed on his car, it will have cost him more than $30,000. He said the experience had been a “very expensive lesson”.

Lotherington said he does not intend to drink again

Mr Allen convicted Lotherington, disqualifying him from driving for eight months and ordering a mandatory interlock order for 24 months.

Lotherington was also placed on a Section 9 Bond for 12 months.