Rockingham: repeat drink driver avoids prison

A MAN who drove drunk and rear-ended another car on Kwinana Freeway has avoided prison.

Mark William Watts pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle involved in an incident and failed to stop, driving a vehicle with a forged or replica plate, having blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08, having no authority to drive and using an unlicensed vehicle when he appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court on October 7.

The prosecutor said Watts was driving on Kwinana Freeway near Mundijong Road exit when he ran-up the back of another car, pushing it into a barrier on the side of the road on June 5 at 8.40pm.

A couple and their two children were in the car .

Watts did not stop and kept going for 2km until his car conked out.

When police arrived, he gave an alcohol reading of 0.08.

The prosecutor said Watts had three previous excess 0.08 offences and had been suspended from driving from August 19, 2015 until June 19, 2016 at Fremantle Magistrates Court.

The duty lawyer said the 27-year-old could not remember the crash as Watts blacked out after the crash.

Watts had just bought his car from a friend for $3000.

The duty lawyer said Watts had been drinking wine with his brother earlier that night, but there was an argument between them so he got into his car and drove off.

The lawyer said the crash was a wake-up for him and he had not touched alcohol for about three months.

He asked Watts be placed on an order.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins did not want to do that.

“I have little faith he will comply with an order,” she said.

“Your driving on that day was shameful. That vehicle had two children in it. You had no regard for the safety of those children.

“Then you didn’t bother to stop. You obviously think the laws of this land don’t apply to you.

“Your actions like so many others cause serious accidents or deaths on our roads.”

She sentenced him to seven months imprisonment suspended for 10 months along with a 10-month driving disqualification.

He was also fined $2150.

“For not stopping to help those people you should be ashamed of yourself,” Magistrate Atkins said.