FEARING his new Isuzu D-Max ute might become the next target in Wagga’s car theft crime wave, Jay Edmonds decided to drive the vehicle to a safer location.
The only problem was, 34-year-old Edmonds had only just left the police station after being charged with high-range drink-driving and having his licence suspended.
According to undisputed police facts tendered to Wagga Local Court on Monday, Edmonds was first stopped for a random breath test on Edward Street at 2.30am on April 26.
Edmonds failed a roadside breath test and later returned a blood-alcohol reading of .212, more than four times the legal limit.
He told police he had drunk an unknown number of full-strength schooners of beer on Anzac Day between 7.30am and 9.30pm.
Released from police custody after being charged and with a driving suspension notice in his pocket, Edmonds headed back to Edward Street and got back behind the wheel of his ute.
At 3.40am, police saw Edmonds driving west along Edward Street with his vehicle’s fog lights on even though there was no fog.
Edmonds was pulled over on Shaw Street.
“I’ve already been done tonight,” Edmonds told police.
When he spoke, police noticed Edmonds’s breath smelt of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred and his balance was unsteady.
Edmonds again failed a roadside breath test and later returned a blood-alcohol reading of .189.
“It was just stupid, I just wanted to move my ute off the street,” Edmonds told police.
Edmonds, a Sydney man in Wagga working on a building project, has pleaded guilty to driving while suspended and two counts of driving with a high-range prescribed concentration of alcohol.
His solicitor, Cynthia Wiencke, told magistrate Erin Kennedy her client had left his car at home when he went to the pub, but during the night he got a call from a friend who was in trouble and without thinking got in his vehicle and picked up the person.
“Within an hour of the first offence, stupidly he got in his vehicle to drive it home,” Ms Wiencke said, explaining to the magistrate Edmonds was worried about the spate of car thefts around that time and had no-one to call on to drive the ute home.
Edmonds, who was convicted of a mid-range drink-driving offence in 2010, will be sentenced on August 24.
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