Man jailed for nearly running over a cop in drunken joy ride
A MAN who went on a 'terrifying' drunken joy ride throughout the Top End, blowing through two COVID checkpoints and nearly running over a cop has been handed a two year jail sentence.
Roy Young, 26, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court to a string of offences including speeding, drink-driving and recklessly endangering serious harm following the "terrifying" series of events last year.
The court heard Young was caught on CCTV on April 1 stumbling and struggling to stand before he drove towards Jabiru, arriving at the first COVID checkpoint outside Kakadu at about 2am.
Police officers manning the checkpoint saw his vehicle approaching "at a significant speed" and swerving in and out of the lane before driving onto the wrong side of the road.
The court heard Young swerved back towards the officers and drove directly at one of them who "had to run off the road and take cover behind a police vehicle to avoid being run over".
About half an hour later, Young reached a second checkpoint which he drove around and stopped directly in the middle of the road, turning his headlights off when he saw another car coming the other way.
The court heard he then drove onto the wrong side of the road and directly at the other car and the park ranger driving it only saw him "at the very last minute" and managed to swerve off the road to avoid a collision.
Young turned his lights back on and drove off before crashing into two road signs and into a ditch "and then careening off the road into a tree", rendering the car undrivable.
Police found him there at about 10am the next day and he tested positive for opiates while later inquiries revealed he was disqualified from driving after a previous drink-driving charge.
When asked if he had been driving drunk the night before, Young told police he'd only had "a little mixer" out of a 1lt bottle of whiskey and "tipped the rest out".
Six months later on October 10, police again spotted Young speeding on Vanderlin Dr and tried to pull him over but he drove off, reaching speeds of up to 149km/h during the ensuing pursuit.
The court heard he eventually stopped the car and surrendered before being arrested and recording a blood-alcohol reading of 0.169.
Checks revealed he had never held a driver's licence and was wanted for breaching a suspended sentence at the time.
In jailing Young for two years with a non-parole period of 15 months, judge Greg Cavanagh described his behaviour as "outrageous".
"This man drove in a fashion that terrified people, that endangered people, that could have easily killed him and other people," he said.
"And it went on for some time, it wasn't just a momentary lapse of judgment, it was outrageous, it was terrifying."
Originally published as Man jailed for nearly running over a cop in drunken Top End joy ride