A Burnie lawyer sought an independent blood alcohol reading in South Australia after his original reading from Forensic Science Services Tasmania exceeded the critical level of 0.150.
Thomas Maxwell Hallett, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of drive a motor vehicle while exceeding prescribed alcohol limit on February 16 last year.
Police prosecutor Felicity Radin told the court that Hallett was driving in Highlands Lakes Road when he failed to round a bend and hit a tree stump which caused his vehicle to roll onto its side.
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Ms Radin said Hallett has been at a party at Bothwell and was driving back to Burnie at the time of the crash
He had a short sleep and called 000 and submitted to a roadside breath test at 5.50am before being taken to the LGH.
At 9.41 am, a sample of blood was taken which later yielded a reading of 0.153.
Defence counsel Fran McCracken said Hallett had retained a sample of his blood and his general practitioner sent it to an independent laboratory in South Australia which returned a reading of 0.148 in September 2020.
A control sample was retested by FSST and also recorded a reading below 0.150
Ms McCracken said that the matter had originally been set for a disputed facts hearing before a conference between defence counsel, police and FSST "rightfully" resulted in the lesser reading being accepted.
Magistrate Ken Stanton accepted an amendment to the charge.
Hallett, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania, had one prior conviction under the Road Safety Alcohol and Drugs Act.
Ms McCracken said he had been travelling regularly to Hobart for social reasons after getting a job in Burnie.
"He was burning the candle at both ends and on this occasion went to a buck's night and consumed punch which he knew was alcoholic," she said.
"There were no particular plans to drive or stay."
The crash occurred about 60 kilometres from the site of the party.
Magistrate Ken Stanton said the reading was at the higher end to the moderate range for purposes of sentencing.
A recording of 0.150 or above attracts a disqualification of 24 months, he said.
"It is not to your credit that you drove to a place where you were intending to consume alcohol and then perhaps because of the amount you drank chose to drive to Burnie, a very substantial distance," he said.
Mr Stanton posed a question to prosecution and defence about whether expectations of a legal practitioner were higher than for a lay person.
"Of all people you ought know you ought not commit this sort of offence," he said.
Mr Stanton said references tendered revealed he was very highly regarded by his employers.
"This will potentially be a noose around your neck that you will carry with you for the rest of your career at least in the short term and something that cause you significant anxiety if you seek new employment," he said.
He fined Hallett $2200 and backdated a 21 month disqualification from driving to July, 2020 when he was prevented from driving by a bail condition.
"The reason for the disqualification is that it is only just under 0.150 that would have led to a 24 month disqualification," he said.
"Twenty-one months is a rather generous discount."
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