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"A penny for your thoughts"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

650 Melbourne Bitter bottles a week

July 15th, 2008

Construction worker Michael Leary father-of-four earns about AUD$1440 after tax -- on Darwin's waterfront project is convicted of drink-driving for the seventh time spends more than AUD$1000 a week on Melbourne Bitter. This equates to more than 27 slabs(in Australian slang, a carton or 24-pack of beer) a week at AUD$38.99 per slab, the price at one Darwin bottle shop yesterday.

''(That is) poor judgement on two counts there -- drinking that much and drinking Melbourne Bitter,'' Mr Luppino said, sending chuckles through the gallery.

Arrested in May this year with a past record of seven prior drink-driving convictions -- including a drunk accident that killed a person in 1989,while on his Kawasaki motorbike speeding at 123km/h in a 100km/h zone on his way home from the Noonamah Pub after a couple of afternoon beers. Worst still he is tested with a blood alcohol of 0.06 per cent % without his licence suspended for three years in October 2006.

Defence lawyer Vanessa Farmer said Leary did not drink ''anything else'' but Melbourne Bitter -- and drank heavily after his relationship broke down five years ago.She added that since his arrest, he participated in a rehab program, and sold his motorbike.

Darwin magistrate Vince Luppino is not sending Leary to jail despite his drink-driving record & especially re-offending after his drink-driving had killed someone, on the basis he had good rehabilitation prospects and his ''excellent work ethic'' was a ``big plus''. He said locking Leary in jail would cost the community more.

Leary is fined AUD$100 and sentenced to a fully-suspended four-month jail term. He is also banned from holding or buying a beer for 12 months. His licence is further disqualified till year 2011.

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