A drunk driver who blew almost four times the legal limit after crashing into traffic lights has been convicted and fined.
Mark LaFranchi faced the Ballarat Magistrates' Court virtually on Monday, pleading guilty to one charge of drunk driving.
The court was told LaFranchi was driving north of Dyson Drive when he crashed into traffic lights in Lucas near Coltman Plaza, getting behind the wheel after heavily drinking about 1.30am on December 11, 2020.
At the scene, he told police he had been drinking, and a preliminary breath test returned a positive result
He was taken to hospital, and while being assessed for his injuries, a blood sample was taken - analysis revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.195.
Magistrate Letizia Torres remarked this was an "extremely high reading".
Representing himself in court, LaFranchi said it was a "stupid thing to do", and he had been facing severe pressures at the time.
"At the time I was under a lot of emotional stress," he told the court.
"It built up over time."
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He said he had cut down on his drinking and had been regularly engaged in counselling since, retaining his job in Geelong by carpooling from his home in Ballarat.
Ms Torres said it was "serious and dangerous" offending, issuing a conviction.
"Do you appreciate how incredibly dangerous it is to drive with this sort of reading?" she asked LaFranchi, who replied he "found it hard to believe".
While he received a slightly reduced fine of $400, his licence was suspended for a mandatory 19 months.
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