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Unsafe journey for drunk ex-safety officer

TOO FAR FROM HOME: A Tin Can Bay man might have been lucky to have a low speed crash.
TOO FAR FROM HOME: A Tin Can Bay man might have been lucky to have a low speed crash. Renee Albrecht

"I DON'T even know what I was thinking,” a former workplace safety officer told Gympie Magistrates Court this week when he pleaded guilty to high range drink driving on his way to Brisbane.

But things were not as bad as James Frederick Williams seemed to fear, as court room acoustics combined with a possibly indistinct response from the self-funded retiree.

"Do you confirm your guilty plea?” magistrate M Baldwin asked him.

Williams replied: "Definitely.”

"Did you say, 'death penalty'?” an incredulous Mrs Baldwin asked him.

"No,” Williams responded, explaining more distinctly what he had really said.

"Oh,” said Mrs Baldwin. "I'm not that tough.”

The court was told Williams, 60, of Tin Can Bay was caught in Gympie with a blood alcohol reading of 0.198% on March 23.

Police told the court Williams had stopped for a rest before continuing his Bruce Hwy journey from Tin Can Bay to Brisbane.

His car, for some reason, had rolled backwards into an embankment and crashed, the court was told.

"There's no excuse,” Williams said.

"I haven't been booked for 30 years,” he said.

"I don't know how you were going to get to Brisbane,” Mrs Baldwin said.

"I don't even know what I was thinking,” Williams said, prompting laughter from the public gallery.

"At least we're not doing an inquest into your death or someone else's,” Mrs Baldwin said.

She fined him $1100 and disqualified him from driving for 10 months.

Topics:  brisbane gympie court gympie magistrates court tin can bay

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