A 56-year-old truck driver who hit a power pole, caused a blackout in Tomingley and blocked off the Newell Highway while he was drunk will not spend any time behind bars.
John Andrew May, of Manly West in Queensland, spent several hours drinking beer at the Cross Roads Hotel before he collided with the pole on November 18 last year.
After May finished his drinking session at 1.40am, court documents revealed he got in his truck and drove it around a truck bay.
He then hit a power pole which cut electricity off in Tomingley and caused live power lines to fall across the highway.
Police said May had no idea he struck the pole until a witness started yelling at him. When May tried to get out from behind the wheel, he fell out of the truck.
I saw the anguish and disappointment on my wife's face when I had to tell her of the irresponsible decision I made that night.John Andrew May.
Police said May stunk of alcohol and a test of his blood alcohol level returned a reading of 0.185, which was more than three times the legal limit.
When May appeared before a Dubbo Local Court in June he tendered a letter he wrote.
"There was no excuse for my actions and I accept full responsibility for what I have done," May said.
"I am a family man and took pride in being a good role model for my children and grandchildren. I have regrettably let them down.
"I saw the anguish and disappointment on my wife's face when I had to tell her of the irresponsible decision I made that night".
"I have since chosen to stop driving trucks interstate and have attended counselling with my doctor".
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May was sentenced in Tweed Heads Local Court by Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy this week.
He was ordered to pay a $2000 fine and placed on a community corrections order for three years.
May was also disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to install an interlock device for 24 months.
Convicted offenders like May must pay for the electronic breath testing device and use it every time they want to drive.
Drink driving is a factor in about one in every seven crashes, the NSW Road Safety Centre says.