Year in prison for Yunderup drunk driver

A DRUNK driver, who critically injured two young people after watching the last Western Derby, was sentenced in Mandurah Magistrates Court today to a year in prison.

Joel Jeffery pleaded guilty to driving dangerously causing grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation at the soonest possible opportunity following the April 19 crash.

He had been drinking at home while watching an AFL game.

Jeffery decided to drive to a local tavern, where he consumed more alcohol.

The court heard Jeffery drove his Nissan Navara home via Pinjarra Road in North Yunderup just before 9pm.

He failed to negotiate the turn on to Tonkin Drive and crossed the median strip.

Jeffery hit a Toyota Yaris parked at a stop sign on Tonkin Drive.

He was taken to Peel Health Campus where he registered a blood alcohol reading of .097, twice the legal limit.

The 22-year-old passenger of the Toyota Yaris went into respiratory arrest at the scene.

He suffered skull and spinal fractures, he suffered a subdural haemorrhage.

The 20-year-old female driver of the Yaris suffered facial and rib fractures, she also had facial lacerations.

They were airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital and were admitted to the intensive care unit.

Both the victims� doctors said their injuries were of a nature to endanger life.

This is the second time Jeffery has been convicted of a serious driving offence.

The court heard he pleaded guilty in 1999 to dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Jeffery�s lawyer Bryan Mahon said his client exercised a serious error of judgement.

�He bitterly regrets what he did that night and bitterly regrets his decision,� he said.

The police prosecutor pointed out that the victims did nothing wrong that night.

�He (Jeffery) lives there, and he�s navigated that turn many times, the difference this time was alcohol,� he said.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said the content of the victim impact statement was the �most heartfelt� statement she had ever read.

�I accept that you are remorseful and that the affects will also remain with you,� Magistrate Edwards told Jeffery.

She said her sentence was not a specific deterrent to Jeffery, but intended as a general deterrent to members of the community who think drink driving is acceptable.

Magistrate Edwards sentenced Jeffery to a year in prison for the injuries sustained to the 22-year-old passenger and nine months for the injuries to the 20-year-old driver.

The terms will be served concurrently and he is eligible for parole.

He had his licence suspended for two years and six months for both offences, to be served concurrently.