7 February 2024

Coleambally drunk driver has licence disqualified after crashing into Isuzu truck at Darlington Point

| Oliver Jacques
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Griffith Court House.

Griffith Court House. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

A Coleambally man has had his driver’s licence disqualified for seven months after colliding with an Isuzu truck when driving under the influence of alcohol in Darlington Point.

Zac Smith, 30, was also handed a $1,200 fine and sentenced to an 18-month Community Corrections Order when convicted of a “mid-range” drink driving offence at Griffith Local Court on Wednesday (7 February).

According to the police fact sheet, Mr Smith was driving a Holden Rodeo on Carrington Street in Darlington Point on the night of 8 August 2023 when he was seen veering towards the outside lane before turning sharply and colliding with an Isuzu truck.

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He was found by paramedics in a semi-conscious state and suffering head injuries and taken to Griffith Base Hospital, where he was observed vomiting and smelling of alcohol. He was reported to have a large laceration to the head, which required several stitches.

A blood sample taken by police revealed a blood alcohol reading of 0.135, more than twice the legal limit.

It is understood the truck driver was not seriously hurt.

“It is entirely a matter of luck that there were not more serious injuries,” Mr Smith’s lawyer, David Davidge, conceded to the court.

Magistrate Trevor Khan then told Mr Smith several stories of people he knew who had been killed in traffic accidents.

“It may not seem it, but you are very, very lucky,” he said

“My grandfather was hit by a car and died,”

“People are too familiar with cars and think they are bulletproof, they then leave families devastated. 23 people die each week on our roads.

“It’s not just about you. It’s about every other road user.”

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The magistrate initially decided to disqualify Mr Smith’s licence for five months, believing it was a first offence. But he was reminded by police prosecutor Jodi McInerney that the defendant had previously been charged with a traffic offence in February 2021.

Magistrate Khan then determined that Mr Smith’s licence would be disqualified for seven months and that he must hold an interlock driver licence for 24 months. This means that an electronic breath-testing device needs to be linked to the ignition system of his car, making him complete an alcohol breath test on the interlock before he can drive it.

Under his 18-month Community Correction Order, he is required to be under the supervision of a Community Corrections Officer at Griffith Community Corrections District Office.

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