Drunk crash driver jailed for 12 months

Dwayne Edward Merz, 32, is spoken to by police after crashing on Maroochydore Rd last year. He registered a blood alcohol level of 0.277.
Dwayne Edward Merz, 32, is spoken to by police after crashing on Maroochydore Rd last year. He registered a blood alcohol level of 0.277. Che Chapman

A MAN whose car brought down a light pole when he crashed through it on Maroochydore Rd was doing more than 40kmh over the speed limit and gave a blood alcohol reading of 0.277, a court has heard.

Dwayne Edward Merz, 32, had been driving erratically at Kawana in the hour before the crash.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Amanda Brewer said Merz was seen tailgating other drivers, swerving between lanes and running a red light along Nicklin Way on August 9 last year.

Other motorists called 000 to report the driving but it wasn't until Merz crashed at Maroochydore about 3.40pm that police caught up with him.

Analysis of marks on the road by police Forensic Crash Unit officers found Merz had been doing a minimum of 101kmh when he crashed in the 60kmh zone.

He had a passenger, a 33-year-old woman.

Police who spoke with Merz at the scene noted he was unsteady on his feet.

He was taken to Nambour General Hospital where his blood was taken for an alcohol test.

It showed a reading of 0.277.

Snr Const Brewer said it was "sheer luck" that Merz, who was unlicensed, did not kill himself or someone else.

"He has no memory of the offences at all," Snr Const Brewer said.

Merz was also sentenced in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Wednesday for breaking into two bottle shops and taking nearly $600 of stock on January 9.

He was on a suspended sentence for previous matters when he committed the driving and stealing offences.

Defence solicitor Nichale Davies said her client had moved to Caloundra with his family when he was eight years old and completed school to Year 10.

Ms Davies said Merz had struggled with alcohol addiction since he was 13.

She said his father was supportive and they lived together.

Merz underwent an alcohol management course in his rehabilitation efforts but broke into the bottle shops shortly after completing it.

Magistrate Annette Hennessy sentenced him to 12 months in prison and banned him from driving for a total of two years and four months.

He will be eligible for parole on August 27.

Topics:  court crash dangerous driving drink driving editors picks maroochydore sunshine coast

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