Drink-driver just misses Ballarat family home, court hears

A young drink-driver has appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court.
A young drink-driver has appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court.

A MAGISTRATE has slammed the offending of a young drink-driver who almost ploughed into a family's Skipton Street home after rolling his car recently.

Questioning Nathan Tinker's common sense in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday, magistrate Cynthia Toose described his decision to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking as a "disaster".

The court heard Tinker, 19, was driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.156 about 10.50pm on May 16 when he flipped his car and crashed into a family's front yard after losing control at 80km/h.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Pepe Brown said the family, including children, were inside the home at the time. 

Leading Senior Constable Brown said Tinker had earlier been drinking at his younger sister's debutante ball before he decided drive his car elsewhere. 

The value of the damage to the family's property is still not known, the court heard. 

Tinker pleaded guilty to charges including careless driving and exceeding the prescribed amount of alcohol within three hours of driving. 

Tinker's defence lawyer, Scott Belcher, said his client had been heading out to meet friends when he performed a U-turn in Skipton Street after realising he should not be driving. 

Mr Belcher said Tinker "came to his senses" and was driving back to his parents' house when he lost control of the car. 

He said it was a "stupid" decision to drive, adding Tinker had never been in trouble with the law before.

The court heard Tinker and his father, went to apologise to the family two days after the incident. 

The magistrate said it was a shame Tinker's common sense had not kicked in earlier.

"What a disaster," Ms Toose said. 

Ms Toose did praise Tinker for his lack of priors, good references and for the fact he had already completed a drink driver's course. 

"I think you have learned a lesson," she said. 

Tinker was fined $750 and his licence cancelled and disqualified for 15 months.