A Dapto drink-driver who ploughed through a garden bed while trying to navigate his way out of a Warrawong shopping centre car park last August has had two months shaved off his non-parole period.
Peter Green, 55, was ordered in February to spend at least six months behind bars after pleading guilty to driving his Ford Territory from the shopping centre to his Kent Street home while drunk.
However, Wollongong District Court judge Paul Conlon yesterday agreed to reduce the non-parole period to four months' jail, acknowledging that Green was trying to clean up his act.
The court was told concerned onlookers called police on the morning of August 19 last year after seeing Green stagger to his car, get behind the wheel and drive through a garden bed before exiting onto King Street.
Officers caught up with him at nearby traffic lights but he ignored their direction to pull over and continued to drive home.
He was arrested after pulling into his garage.
Green's lawyer, Martin Rowney, yesterday said his client had been a successful senior employee at Roads and Maritime Services until work pressures got to him and he turned to alcohol.
"He has gone down a very dramatic spiral in the last five years," Mr Rowney said, adding his client had been diagnosed with major depression and substance alcohol abuse disorder.
"There has been a clear history of alcohol referrals that have not been successful in the past, but he's taking greater steps this time."
Mr Rowney said Green was more than willing to accept a greater level of treatment.
Judge Conlon acknowledged Green's past difficulties, saying one could have sympathy for him as he appeared to have been a person of good character until "his world collapsed" in 2007.
But he concluded the local court magistrate responsible for imposing the jail term had made the right decision.
"I'm satisfied the objective seriousness [of this offence] is towards the upper end of the range," he said.
"It's people who drive when affected this way who are inevitably then responsible for killing [other] people using the roadway."
He dismissed the appeal and confirmed the 12-month jail sentence but agreed to reduce the non-parole period to four months instead of six and Green will be eligible for release on June 18.