MANY Aussies enjoy getting stuck into a hot meat pie after a few beers, but a Mackay man has taken his affection for the humble pastry to a whole new (and totally illegal) level.
Dean Anthony Yowyeh was busted by police driving three and a half times over the legal alcohol limit, after downing two six packs and two 'tallies' (750ml) of beer, to get his hands on a service station pie late last month.
The 48-year-old came to the attention of police when his car was seen crawling well under the speed limit in South Mackay.
Pulling into the carpark of a Caltex servo, Yowyeh - no doubt affected by the booze in his system - had a whole lot of trouble managing to park as police watched.
Unsurprisingly, police pulled up near Yowyeh's vehicle to perform a breath test. Not only did the unemployed plant operator comply - he actually jumped out of his car yelling "You've got me”.
In his solicitor Chris Colwill's words, drink-driving was indeed a "stupid thing to have done”, and a decision which led to an $1800 fine and a year-long licence loss.
Yowyeh faced Magistrate Scott Luxton in Mackay Magistrates Court on Monday, pleading guilty to driving under the influence about 1am on October 23.
Prosecutor Shelby Larcombe gave the facts.
" ... police were conducting patrols ... police observed that the vehicle was driving at a very low speed, well below the speed limit,” she said.
"Police further observed the vehicle turn into the carpark of the Caltex service station. Police remained in the vehicle and watched the driver of the vehicle attempt to park.
"After multiple attempts at trying to park the defendant has then turned his vehicle off. Police have approached the vehicle ...
"The defendant has opened the door and immediately said 'You've got me, you've got me. Police have asked the defendant what he meant ... to which he replied 'I've been drinking a lot'.”
Police smelled liquor on Yowyeh's breath and a breath test returned a reading of 0.182 per cent BAC.
Yowyeh had been convicted of drink-driving nearly three decades ago, when he recorded a lower reading, Ms Larcombe said.
Mr Colwill said his client had "gone off to get a pie around the corner” and he was honest with police.
The defence lawyer described Yowyeh's traffic record as "moderately good” and detailed Yowyeh's job prospects.
"He has been offered work in Collinsville next year. It's unclear if that will proceed, not only because of his disqualification, but it's tied up with the Adani mine ... ,” he said.
Mr Colwill added Yowyeh entered an early guilty plea.
Handing down Yowyeh's sentence, Mr Luxton said his reading was "extremely high”, but noted Yowyeh's history was "close to impeccable” in recent times, and the drink-driving was "out of character”.
Alongside the fine and disqualification, a conviction was recorded.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.