How serial drink driver flipped car across highway
A SERIAL drink driver was so drunk he could not talk when he flipped his car at a busy Gold Coast intersection.
Glenn Michael Camilleri's Holden sedan was travelling so fast it landed on a ute waiting at traffic lights just after 6pm on December 28 last year.
The 45-year-old had a blood alcohol reading of 0.243 per cent - almost five times the legal alcohol limit. It was the fourth time the disability pensioner was caught behind the wheel with a blood alcohol reading more than 0.188 per cent.
Camilleri will be released from jail in late October after pleading guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday to dangerous operation of a vehicle while affected by an intoxicating substance.
He has been banned from driving for three years. Anti drink-drive advocates say he should never be allowed behind the wheel of a car again.
Frightening CCTV footage shows how the car narrowly missed hitting a family on the side of the road as Camilleri's car came around the Thrower Dr-Gold Coast Highway intersection at Palm Beach.
The car became airborne as it flipped across the highway, bursting through a fence and landing on a blue ute. No one was injured.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rachel France told the court passers-by pulled Camilleri from his car through the windscreen and noticed he could not speak or stand properly.
Magistrate Mark Howden sentenced Camilleri to 14 months prison to be released on parole on October 28.
"I consider the driving to be extremely reckless," Mr Howden said.
"Of great concern is your previous history of driving at very high alcohol levels."
The court was told Camilleri was caught with a blood-alcohol content of 0.188 per cent in 2002, 0.193 per cent in 2006 and 0.209 per cent in 2011.
On each of those occasions he lost his licence and was fined.
Anti-drunk driving advocate Kylie Franklin said those convicted of drink driving more than three times should lose their licence permanently.
Ms Franklin lost her friend Lana Hufnagl in July 2017. Hufnagl was a passenger in a car being driven by her husband Peter Dowker when it went off the road in Tallai and hit a tree. Dowker was drunk.
"I think they need to come down harder because people are not getting the message," Ms Franklin said. "How many strikes do they get?
"Three strikes and you lose your licence indefinitely."
Ms Franklin said she wanted tougher bans because people were dying when drunks got behind the wheel.
Camilleri's lawyer Sam Jackson, of Bamberry Lawyers, said Camilleri had struggled with alcoholism his entire adult life.
Mr Jackson said he relapsed the day he crashed.
"All the remembers is going for a hair cut in the morning and he can't remember anything until he gets pulled out of the car," he said.
Mr Jackson said Camilleri had trained as a chef and forklift driver but was unable to work due to epilepsy.
He said Camilleri regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was seeking help from his general practitioner.