High-Range Drinkers Convicted; Driver {Lsquo}self-Medicated' on Alcohol for Stress Disorder, Court Told

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Irby ross.irby@northernstar.com.au

IT WAS the day of reckoning following the morning after for Lismore driver Michael Loftus, who pleaded guilty at Lismore Local Court to high-range drink-driving - three times the legal limit.

Loftus, 31, was caught by police at 8am on February 7 with a reading of 0.160 per cent when driving to shops with mates.

Defence lawyer James Fuggle told the court it was a 'morning after' offence.

He said the water tanks manufacturer suffered a post-traumatic stress disorder and 'self-medicated' with alcohol and did not know the amount he drank the night before the offence.

Magistrate Jeff Linden said the high reading was quite disturbing and, as well, Loftus had been less than co-operative with police.

Mr Linden said his police record showed prior similar offences in 1999, 2003 and 2004.

Loftus was convicted and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond and his driver's licence disqualified for two years until February 2011. …


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