P-plater drove after 16 beers

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A heavily intoxicated man who drove through a red light into oncoming traffic has walked away from court with a nine-month suspended sentence.

Karlen Bell, 25, fronted Penrith Local Court on Tuesday charged with high-range drink driving.

The court heard the P-plater consumed about 16 bottles of beer between 4pm and midnight on March 12 before making the reckless decision to drive his drinking partner home.

Magistrate Margaret McGlynn said Mr Bell was unimpressively only one low-range drink driving charge away from racking up the “whole swag” of drink driving offences, noting he had previously been before the court for novice and mid-range PCA.

“Mr Bell, this is your third drink driving offence,” Magistrate McGlynn said.

“You’re a danger to members of the community… I am satisfied no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate.”

He was disqualified from driving for nine months and ordered to fit a mandatory interlock device to his car for a period of four years.

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