George Chong Nee leaves court after admitting to drink driving.
George Chong Nee leaves court after admitting to drink driving. Ross Irby

Drunk driver's rude awakening for home owner

IT was 1.15am on a Sunday when a woman was rudely awoken by the sound of a ute crashing into her house.

When police arrived at the scene they found drunken driver George Chong Nee.

Uninjured, he was breath tested and gave an alcohol reading of .206 - four times the legal limit.

Hours earlier he had attended a Catholic church mass, before drinking with some mates, fellow pool players.

Ipswich Magistrate Virginia Sturgess told Chong Nee the crash must have been frightening for the residents of the Redbank Plains house.

George Chong Nee, 48, from Redbank Plains, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle when adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and driving under the influence of alcohol in Laurel Street, Redbank Plains, at 1.15am on September 30, 2018.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Krushka said Chong Nee's white Holden ute hit the house, veranda and front fence.

"A male was standing next to the damaged ute. He was unsteady on his feet, swaying, and slurring his words when speaking," Snr Const Krushka said.

Chong Nee was taken to Goodna police station to be breath tested.

Defence lawyer Bradley Munt said the crash arose from events earlier on Saturday where Chong Nee went to his brother's house, the headquarters of the pool club, for a barbecue fundraiser.

Mr Munt said he drank alcohol and conceded he was well over the legal limit.

At midnight the function was still going and Chong Nee stayed to clean up before deciding to drive home to check on his 70-year-old mum and his teenage son.

"He failed to negotiate a turn on the way home," he said.

"He suffered a financial penalty. The car was written off and he could not make an insurance claim.

"There has been no financial demand yet about the damaged house. But it is almost inevitable that the insurance company will chase him for substantial damages."

Redbank Plains resident Phoebe Morgan in what used to be her unit after a car crashed into it in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Redbank Plains resident Phoebe Morgan in what used to be her unit after a car crashed into it in the early hours of Sunday morning. Rob Williams

Ms Sturgess said it, .206 - was a very high alcohol reading.

She noted Chong Nee had three previous (now dated) drink driving offences involving high readings.

Ms Sturgess said he had shown a significant error of judgment by drink driving, with "consequences for the poor people whose house you crashed into".

"Fortunately there was no injury," she said.

"I'm sure the owners of this property will not feel very kindly toward you.

"It was likely a frightening experience for them to have a car running into the house.

"In your drunken state to go and check on your mother. It was a very foolish decision."

Ms Sturgess fined Chong Nee $2500, which was sent to SPER for a payment plan.

He was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for six months for the dangerous operation offence; and for nine months for driving under the influence.



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