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Drunk man sleeps it off in car, charged with drink driving

SITTING or snoozing behind the wheel of a parked car when drunk is enough to land you in hot water. Just ask Paul Buffoni.

The 45-year-old had been out at a Gladstone hotel with mates and had a few drinks when he went to have a snooze in a parked car after midnight.

Early on September 7 police found him napping in the driver's seat parked on Roseberry St with the ignition keys close by.

Buffoni pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to being in charge of a motor vehicle when under the influence (alcohol reading of .269), and possession of the drug cannabis.

Prosecutor Mark Fenlon said a small amount of cannabis was found in cling wrap in the pocket of his trousers.

Duty lawyer Jun Pepito said that his client had drinks with a work friend and decided to go to the vehicle.

"For some reason he decided to go in the front and not the back seat. He had no intention of driving, just resting. Unfortunately he was sitting in the driver's seat," he said.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke said his breath/alcohol reading of .269 (five times the legal limit) had been "a very gross level of intoxication".

However, he noted Buffoni's impeccable "impressive" unblemished traffic history, saying the incident appeared to be a gross misjudgement on his behalf.

"It is in your favour that you did not put the car in motion. I accept you wanted to get into the car to sleep, not drive but in law you were in charge of the vehicle," Mr Clarke said.

"I hope he learns about binge drinking and the trouble it can get you into.

"It is very unfortunate at your age you are involving yourself with cannabis."

Buffoni was fined $1400 and disqualified from driving for 10 months. A conviction was not recorded.

Topics:  drink driving editors picks gladstone magistrates court sleeping


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