A Wellington solar farm worker has been convicted for driving while more than four times the legal limit, just 18 months after being convicted of the same offence in Queensland.
Thomas Mbugua, 39, was caught behind the wheel of a Toyota Hilux on the Mitchell Highway returning a breath analysis reading of 0.212 on September 19.
According to court documents about 9pm police had received a call from witnesses who explained to the operator they had seen a ute swerving over double solid lines narrowly missing oncoming traffic in a 100 km/h zone.
A traffic stop was established by police on the Mitchell Highway about one kilometre east of the crossing at Sheraton Road in Dubbo. At the time of the offence the roads were wet, it was raining and visibility was poor with no street lights.
Police stopped Mbugua for a alcohol breath test, he returned an initial reading of 0.245, before being taken to Dubbo Police Station where subsequent tests revealed a breath analysis of 0.212.
According to police facts Mbugua told police he had consumed about five whiskey and soda waters at a party before leaving Wellington, and was on his way to see his girlfriend in Dubbo.
Pleading guilty at Dubbo Local Court on Wednesday, Mbugua's solicitor David Pheeney told the court he had been drinking in the hours before the incident after receiving a call from a family member in Kenya that his brother, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, was on palliative care and due to COVID-19 restrictions could not return home.
Mr Pheeney said his client was "gainfully employed" as a logistics officer at the solar farm in Wellington and was moving to Wagga, and argued he was mandatory tested for drugs and alcohol every day before entering the site and had not had an issue.
Magistrate Greg Grogin said in a letter Mbunga wrote to the court he intended to undertake drug and alcohol counselling, however that was dated December 1 and he had "not done anything about it".
"He's made some engagement about drug and alcohol counselling," Mr Pheeney said.
"... He instructs me he has a drug and alcohol appointment in Wellington."
Magistrate Grogin however said the manner he was driving on the night, where he was swerving and driving on the wrong side of the road made him a threat to the community.
"To say you had a belly full of booze is an understatement," he said.
The court heard Mbunga was disqualified from driving for 12 months in March 2019 after convicted of drink driving in Queensland after blowing a reading of 0.198.
A sentencing assessment report found Mbugua had "no regard for the law", the court heard.
"Quite clearly with two high-range PCAs alcohol is not your friend," magistrate Grogin said.
"What you did was calculated and irresponsible.
"A message needs to be sent quite clearly to you ... your actions have repercussions. Especially after you were charged 18 months ago."
Mbugua was convicted of high-range drink driving second offence and placed on a nine month intensive corrections order - a prison sentence served in the community.
Mbugua was also disqualified from driving for 12-months and ordered to install a mandatory interlock device for 48 months.
He was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and ordered to abstain from alcohol.
For driving while his licence was cancelled, Mbugua was convicted and fined $1500, he was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and placed on a community corrections order for two years.