Three months’ jail for drink driver

A SERIAL drink driver who was thrown through the front windscreen of his car as it rolled on Kulkyne Way had consumed about 20 drinks before jumping behind the wheel, a court has been told.

Darren John Makovec appeared before Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to driving under the influence and failing to wear a seatbelt. 

The incident was his fourth recorded drink driving offence. 

In June last year the then 50-year-old had been drinking for about six hours when he decided to make the 20-minute drive home about 8pm.

Makovec had been driving for about five minutes when he fell asleep and while attempting to correct the path of his car, swerved on to the wrong side of the road where he lost control, causing the vehicle to roll several times.

The court was told Makovec’s seatbelt was not fastened properly and he was thrown through the front windscreen, landing about 13 metres from where his car came to rest.

Defence counsel Peter Delorenzo said his client sustained serious injures including 11 broken ribs, a fractured jaw and hips, punctured lungs and had pins placed in his legs.

When paramedics arrived at the scene Makovec was conscious and breathing, and was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital for treatment.

The court was told throughout the course of the afternoon of the incident, Makovec had consumed the equivalent of 20 standard drinks which including two-thirds of a bottle of whisky and heavy strength beer.

A blood alcohol sample was recorded at almost four times more than the legal limit, three hours after crash, however prosecutor Senior-Constable Kristen Simms said the reading could have been in the range of .231 to .268 closer to the time of the crash.

She urged Magistrate Pauline Spencer to use the case to send a strong message to the community that drink driving and having a “blatant disregard for human lives” would not be tolerated.

“I’m concerned this is not a once-off. It’s the fourth drink driving offence and magistrates would have told you before how wrong and serious this is, but you still chose to put the community at risk … you’re lucky no one was killed,” Magistrate Spencer said.

Makovec was sentenced to three months in jail and banned from driving for four years. 

Magistrate Spencer said consideration had been given to the seriousness of his injures, saying they had been a punishment in themselves.

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