I am ashamed’: NSW SES Commissioner caught drink-driving
January 29, 2016
NSW State Emergency Services boss Adam Dent has been convicted of drink-driving after blowing almost double the legal alcohol limit at a police random breath testing site in Wollongong.
Dent, whose organisation attends thousands of car crashes every year, many the result of drink-driving, recorded a breath analysis of 0.09 after being stopped by police on the Princes Highway at Fairy Meadow on the evening of December 30.
Wollongong Local Court heard Dent, 35, had drunk three glasses of wine from 4pm to 7pm and ate only cheese and biscuits at a friend’s place before getting behind the wheel of his Holden Commodore, intending to drive himself and a passenger a short distance to his home in North Wollongong.
Commissioner Dent outside court on Thursday.
Commissioner Dent outside court on Thursday. Photo: Shannon Tonkin
However, their trip was cut short when Dent was stopped at the RBT site and returned a positive reading for alcohol, leading police to charge him with mid-range drink-driving.
Dent pleaded guilty in court on Thursday, saying he was deeply ashamed of his actions and should have known better.
“The organisation I lead is, among other things, the largest volunteer provider of road crash rescue services in NSW,” he said in a letter written to presiding magistrate Michael Stoddart.
“On a daily basis my teams respond to trauma on NSW roads and are exposed to the tragic outcomes that careless driving can lead to.
“I am ashamed and, on reflection, sickened by the fact that on the evening of December 30 my choice to drive even a short 3.5km round trip could have potentially contributed to our road toll.”
Defence lawyer Michael Hempsall asked the court not to record a conviction in the matter and allow Dent to retain his licence, saying his client was an “exceptional person” who travelled up to 30,000kms a year and needed to be able to drive to and from emergencies.
“The community has a need in seeing Mr Dent continue to do the good work he’s doing,” Mr Hemsall said.
However, Magistrate Stoddart refused the request, fining Dent $1000 and cancelling his licence for six months, noting he already had multiple speeding offences on his record.
“To deal with this matter without recording a conviction would be totally inappropriate,” he said.
Dent was appointed as the SES’s youngest commissioner ever last January.
Source : SMH – 30.01.16
Accordingly to the SMH, Mr Adam Dent resigned from his position as NSW SES Commissioner following the conviction for his mid range drink driving offence and loss of his licence.