February 18, 2015

Chainsaw Drink-Driver Loses Appeal

An Australian learner driver has lost a Supreme Court appeal to consider his case ‘trifling’. The effect of such a ruling in Australian law is a lighter punishment.

The learner, Timothy Withrow from Port Willunga near Adelaide, cut himself whilst using a chainsaw at his residence in February last year. He phoned two emergency departments, but was told they were very busy and would not be able to treat him for more than 10 hours. He then used a large sewing needle and some fishing line to sew up the wound and washed it with gin to prevent infection. He also drank gin to help with the pain.

He later decided to drive to the hospital for treatment after not being able to contact his wife. He said he could not afford an ambulance. He had previously held a US driving licence but did not hold a full Australian licence.

In court he pleaded guilty but before sentencing asked for the matter to be dealt with as trifling. However, the judge agreed with the earlier ruling that Withrow had had other options and posed a clear danger with the appeal being dismissed.

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