A man who had an all-night drinking binge was still drunk 12 hours later when he sideswiped a woman driving through North Albury with her two children.
The victim was unable to avoid Benjamin Ross Mackenzie's Hyundai Santa Fe as it struck her door.
This caused her Toyota Prado to spin 180 degrees and roll over, landing on its side.
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The woman and her children, aged 14 and 11, were able to scramble out and were "noticeably shocked" by what happened, Albury Local Court heard on Monday.
Mackenzie, 35, of North Albury, pleaded guilty to driving with a high-range prescribed concentration of alcohol over a reading of 0.180.
Magistrate Richard Funston told defence lawyer Mark Cronin that Mackenzie's actions could have easily ended in "an absolute tragedy".
"Your honour," Mr Cronin replied, "it's a serious example of this type of offending."
Mr Cronin said Mackenzie and several of his friends were at his home the night before drinking beer and vodka, their festivities not ending until 6am on November 2.
He said Mackenzie had another couple of beers at lunchtime, "but he really can't remember anything else".
"He's just extremely thankful no one was hurt or seriously hurt."
The court was told Mackenzie, a father of two young children himself, was driving west on North Street that day about 5.15pm, heading towards the freeway overpass bridge, when the woman's vehicle approached from the other direction.
As he got to the base of the bridge, his SUV swerved onto the wrong side of the road.
That happened just as the woman was coming down the bridge. Mackenzie's vehicle struck her SUV along the driver's-side door.
Mackenzie was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order.
He was also disqualified from driving for seven months.