Crash driver fined, suspended

A MOTORIST who crashed his boss' car days after arriving in the region to start a new job has been banned from driving for two years.

The Mildura Magistrates' Court heard Anand Lingeswaran was affected by alcohol when he failed to negotiate a roundabout at Irymple on March 10, causing the car he was driving to become airborne.

The car gouged into the asphalt as it came back down, before it went into a gutter and came to a stop about 50 metres west of the intersection of Fourteenth Street and Irymple Avenue.

The prosecution said Lingeswaran was unsteady on his feet and had to try multiple times to take his wallet out of his pocket when police arrived.

Lingeswaran produced an Indian driver's licence and co-operated with officers as they did a preliminary breath test.

But when the test indicated the presence of alcohol and police asked Lingeswaran to go with them to Mildura police station for another test, he became argumentative.

Lingeswaran was arrested instead, and kept in police cells for three to four hours to sober up, while the vehicle had to be towed away.

He pleaded guilty to the charges yesterday.

The 42-year-old had moved back to Australia from India to start work as a psychiatric registrar in Mildura about 10 days before the incident.

Defence counsel Paul Avery said Lingeswaran had borrowed the car from his boss and was taking a drive around Sunraysia to familiarise himself with the district.

The court heard Lingeswaran had been in a mood to celebrate that day because he had been welcomed to Mildura by his new colleagues and the Indian community after a prolonged wait to take up his new job.

The decision to knock back a couple of glasses of champagne at lunch on his own proved a fateful one.

“He says he's not a very experienced drinker because it's in their culture that they don't drink,” Mr Avery said.

Magistrate Pauline Spencer fined Lingeswaran $1000 without conviction and took his licence away for two years.

“You got yourself in a bit of a state,” Ms Spencer said.

“It's highly embarrassing for someone in your position. 

“I know they find it hard to get psychiatric registrars here and to keep them so it's an important role that you're in.”

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