Drink-driver slams into family car: court

A Towradgi man driving at more than three times the legal alcohol limit crashed into a car containing a two-year-old while trying to evade police, Wollongong Local Court has been told.

Owen William Edward Newson, 36, was driving a black Nissan Skyline, allegedly at high speed, along Rothery Street in East Corrimal about 8.45pm on Saturday.

According to facts tendered to the court, his erratic driving was noticed by police, who pulled him over near the intersection of Murray Road.

Just as the officers were about to exit their car to approach Newson, he allegedly accelerated heavily, failed to stop at the intersection and slammed into the back of a blue Holden Vectra.

The other car, containing a male driver and his two-year-old child, spun 180 degrees and ended up on the footpath, police said.

The driver and child were unharmed.

Moments later, police officers arrived at Newson's car and found him asleep, police said.

Newson was later breath tested at the scene, allegedly returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.157.

He was arrested and taken to Wollongong Police Station, where he allegedly refused a breath analysis and abused police.

He was charged with negligent driving, refusing to undergo a breath analysis and disobeying a request to stop for breath testing.

Opposing bail yesterday, Sergeant Anna Comer said Newson's "extreme and serious drink driving" had placed not only himself, but also a toddler, the police and the community at risk.

"Especially concerning is the allegation that he has attempted to evade police and crashed his vehicle into another vehicle with an occupant on board," Sgt Comer said.

Defense solicitor Elizabeth Parkes said only one of her client's charges carried a jail sentence, leaving other options available.

She said Newson could not remember much of what happened on Saturday night and had immediately offered an apology to police when he heard of his behaviour.

He was able to reside at Sturdee Street, Towradgi, and was happy to report to police, Ms Parkes said.

Registrar Peter Ritchie granted Newson bail, ordering him not to occupy the driver's seat of a car, report weekly to police and forfeit $2000 if he failed to comply.

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