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‘Reckless decision’: Coonamble man’s drink driving remorse

Reece Heaney, 21, appeared in Dubbo Local Court on Wednesday, accompanied by his mum and dad, and charged with mid-range drink driving.He was arrested by Coonamble Police at 2am on April 3 after he was stopped for a random breath test, making full admissions to officers.Documents tendered to Dubbo Local Court reveal police spotted Heaney turning onto Railway Street in Coonamble and “could smell intoxicating liquor on (his) breath”.After returning a positive result, he was arrested and taken to Coonamble Police Station for further testing, which included a breath analysis of 0.132.The court heard from Heaney’s lawyer Matthew Quill, that he was remorseful for his actions, attending a drivers offenders course and admitted to making a poor decision when he intended to drop a friend home from the pub.“He is very embarrassed (and) he does realise it is a serious offence,” Heaney’s lawyer told the court.“It was a reckless decision.”Mr Quill appealed to the court for leniency and asked Magistrate Brett Thomas to consider a sentence without conviction.However, Mr Thomas said he spent “many years in Sydney” where he lost count of drink driving offences from young men “just like” Heaney.“The only difference is that they were in Sydney and had access to public transport,” Mr Thomas acknowledged.“It’s not unusual to see young people in rural NSW (do this).“But there is no rule to say rules are different to you because you live on a property.”Mr Thomas recognised that Heaney had never attended court prior to Wednesday’s appearance, but highlighted minor “matters” when he was on his provisional licence, including one speeding offence and not displaying a P plate.In delivering a sentence, Mr Thomas said there was an expectation that Heaney be convicted, noting the offence was “a reading which is closer to the top of mid range than it is to the bottom”.Heaney was convicted and fined $800 with a 12 month interlock requirement and a minimum of three months disqualified from the roads.“Make sure this doesn’t happen again (because) if you don’t it’s a full disqualification of (your) licence for five years,” Mr Thomas concluded.

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