A Dean man pleaded guilty to driving into a fence while intoxicated, and was convicted and fined $1000 at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Peter Hotchin was seen driving erratically on the Ballarat-Daylesford Road at Gong Gong after 9pm on November 23 last year when witnesses saw him veer off the road.
The court was told he was found sitting "somewhat dazed" in his car, which had crashed into a fence and ruptured its petrol tank - police that attended reported a “strong smell of alcohol” inside the car.
He had been drinking at a friend's house, beginning about 6.30pm and ending about 9pm - Hotchin estimated he had drunk four glasses of wine and a beer.
A police breath test revealed a blood alcohol content reading of 0.147.
Hotchin appeared "unsteady" at the police station, and became "agitated and angry" after the breath test, according to the prosecution's summary.
Defence lawyer James McKenzie said Hotchin had a "complex neuropsychological profile" caused by an acquired brain injury, and was taking mood-stabilising drugs, but they would not have affected the blood alcohol content.
"Clearly, he's not properly monitored his alcohol consumption," he said.
Magistrate Greg Robinson questioned why Hotchin was drinking while taking the medication.
“He voluntarily took those drugs, I think knowing he shouldn’t mix them with alcohol,” he said, to which Mr McKenzie replied there was a level of trial-and-error in finding the correct dosage.
Hotchin was fined $1000, and disqualified from driving for 14 months.