A DRINK-DRIVING father-of-seven who crashed his car before assaulting police avoided jail today.
Shane Fitzgerald, 38 from Buninyong, this morning pleaded guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates Court to a string of charges that arose from an incident on June 16, 2012.
On that day, Fitzgerald had attended the Buninyong Football Club clubrooms, where he drank an unknown amount of alcohol.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said Fitzgerald then got behind the wheel and crashed into the roundabout on the corner of the Midland Highway and Warrenheip Street.
Despite suffering damage to his car, he continued driving before crashing into a parked car and spinning out.
He was taken back to the Ballarat Police Station where he recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.177.
Senior Constable Steve Kent said Fitzgerald then became aggressive, launching at a sergeant with "clenched fists" and kicking a constable in the rear of the head.
He remained in custody for a number of hours.
Defence lawyer John Irwin said his client had a serious issue with alcohol.
Mr Irwin said Fitzgerald had been drinking heavily on the day and barely remembered the incident.
"It wasn't his intention to drive, but he doesn't even remember getting into his car," he said.
"He's deeply ashamed and apologises unreservedly."
Magistrate Kay Robertson said she initially considered a jail term would be appropriate, but Fitzgerald's positive behaviour since the incident showed signs of improvement.
The court was told Fitzgerald had not drank alcohol for four months.
"This might be the moment where the community has the chance to get you back on track," said Ms Robertson.
Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to five charges, including assaulting police, careless driving and exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol.
He was sentenced to four months prison, suspended for 18 months and fined $1200.
His licence was also disqualified for two years and 10 months.