A POSSUM was the unlikely passenger in a random breath test by police.
Garry Maynard, 47, pleaded guilty to low range drink-driving in Armidale Local Court on Monday.
Consuming two litres of port the night before, Maynard was stopped by Armidale police on the New England Highway on October 17.
Defence solicitor Frank Falcomata said Maynard was on his way to release the possum into the wild at the time of the arrest.
“He had the possum in the car, but I don’t think he was a co-conspirator,” Mr Falcomata said.
“My client had consumed alcohol the night before. He had a two-litre cask by himself in a seven-hour period.
“He tells me there was some trouble with possums [at Maynard’s workplace], one was in a trap and he was taking it out of town to release it.”
Maynard blew 0.055 and was taken to the Armidale Police Station.
He had the possum in the car, but I don’t think he was a co-conspirator.Frank Falcomata
He had a previous drink-driving offence in 2014, the court heard.
Magistrate Michael Holmes said Maynard was lucky his reading was low range.
“It’s a fact we need to take into account, he’s got a very poor record doesn’t he?” Magistrate Holmes said.
“He is lucky this doesn’t carry a term of imprisonment because I would have considered it.”
Maynard told the court his liver is “shot”.
Magistrate Michael Holmes said Maynard did not look a healthy colour.
“You have got to for the rest of your life live a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to give up the grog,” Magistrate Holmes said.
“It’s good to hear your partner doesn’t drink – that will make it easier for you.
“Your record isn’t good, if it’s a matter where you could impose a term of imprisonment I would, but I won’t because I don’t have the powers to do so."
Maynard was convicted and fined $1000.
He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and given an interlock exemption.
Magistrate Holmes warned Maynard not to drink drive again or he would face detection.