A Port Macquarie Man has been convicted and fined after he drove a car into his neighbour's relocatable home while under the influence of alcohol.
Gary O'Brien, 83, pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving, driving while disqualified and negligent driving.
He appeared before Magistrate Georgina Darcy for sentencing on November 30.
The court heard that O'Brien hasn't held a licence for at least 10 years.
Court documents show on October 14, 2022, the 83-year-old consumed a "number of XXXX beer" at his nephew's house at a residential village in Port Macquarie.
He then got into the driver's seat of the vehicle and reversed out of the driveway. His nephew stated to police it looked like he tried to attempt to then put the vehicle into drive, but it was still in reverse.
O'Brien then reversed into the residential house directly behind him and caused "a large amount of damage" to the verandah and staircase of the property.
Police arrived shortly after and spoke with O'Brien, his nephew and the house owner.
The 83-year-old was cautioned by police and asked questions relating to his drinking, residential location and licence status.
He was subjected to a breath test which returned a positive result. He was taken to Port Macquarie Police Station and entered into custody.
A further breath analysis returned a reading of 0.139, with police noting he "smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor".
Defence lawyer Michael Dampney said the 83-year-old got behind the wheel to move his car from a parking bay that was not his.
"It was an extremely short journey and he didn't know it was a public road," Mr Dampney said.
The court also heard that O'Brien is unlikely to hold a driver licence again due to medical reasons.
Magistrate Darcy said it's "most fortunate no one was injured".
"I have no idea why you made such a poor decision to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle when you don't have a licence and you had 0.139 grams of alcohol in your system," she said.
"It's most fortunate that the car didn't go further into the house and that no one was injured."
Magistrate Darcy said O'Brien is "not a stranger to these types of offences".
"You have a number of drink-driving matters on your record," she said. "Although I do note that you haven't been charged with an offence since 1992."
Magistrate Darcy said the drink-driving charge is "towards the higher end of mid-range".
"And no doubt you will be paying a significant amount of money to the owner of the property," she said.
"You need to understand that if there had been someone killed or injured, even at your age, you could have been facing a sentence of imprisonment."
Magistrate Darcy said she took into account O'Brien's pleas of guilty to the matters when handing down the sentence.
In relation to the drink driving charge, O'Brien has been convicted and fined $400 with a mandatory interlock order for six months, noting he is unlikely to obtain a licence.
For the negligent driving offence, the 83-year-old has been convicted and fined $200.
For driving while disqualified, he has been convicted with no further penalty.
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