High-level public servant blows .156
A HIGH-LEVEL bureaucrat has faced court after being caught driving while more than three times the blood alcohol limit, telling police he was driving drunk because he had to pick his wife up from the airport.
Christopher Mouat, 59, has worked as the director of InvestNT, within the NT Government Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, since 2015.
According to Mouat's LinkedIn profile, his role makes him "responsible for the Northern Territory's external investment promotion and attraction activity".
Mouat represented himself in Darwin Local Court on December 11 and pleaded guilty to driving with a high blood alcohol content.
He was ordered to pay a $450 fine and a $150 victim levy. He also had his licence disqualified for 12 months.
The court heard Mouat had been driving along East Point Rd, Fannie Bay, about 10.30pm on November 29 when he was pulled over for a random breath test.
According to a statement of facts from NT Police, when he was removed from his vehicle Mouat reportedly had "a strong odour of liquor" and "bloodshot eyes".
When the reading came back positive he was arrested and taken to Darwin watch house for further breath analysis, which returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.156. His licence was disqualified.
Mouat told the court he was "ashamed and mortified".
"There's simply no excuse and I don't know why I've done that," he said.
"In the course of my work here I have occasion to visit sites such as Inpex and mining sites and all of them require a blood-alcohol level of zero and I've never had any issue.
"It's book-ended a rather stressful year that started with a major cancer diagnosis."
He said he had spent the evening at Christmas drinks with friends before driving from his home in Cullen Bay to the airport to pick up his wife.
"I did have Christmas drinks with friends and I did not take the vehicle.
"I do not know what possessed me to come back and subsequently a couple of hours later take the vehicle.
"My wife and children live in Melbourne and my wife was visiting on that Friday night, which is the reason I then went out - which was an appalling decision to make."
He also told the court he had formally advised his employer of the charges and given up his car.
Judge Meredith Huntingford said drink-driving was a "prevalent" offence in the NT.
"There are far too many people drinking and driving on the roads," she said.
When contacted for comment, the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation would not confirm if Mouat had been suspended from his role, nor provide details as to what reprimand he would receive following his conviction.
"This matter is being dealt with in accordance with relevant employment legislation," a department spokeswoman said.