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Chainsaw injury no excuse for drink driving

An Australian man who drank gin to numb the pain after slicing his hand open with a chainsaw and then drove to hospital has had his appeal over a drink driving charge dismissed.

Following the accident at his home in February last year Timothy Michael Withrow, of Port Willunga in Adelaide, called the hospital but was told there would be a 10-hour wait for treatment, as reported by Perth News.

Concerned it would become infected, and unable to afford an ambulance to collect him, Withrow downed gin as a painkiller and used it to clean the wound before attempting to stitch it up himself with fishing line.

After setting off for the hospital with what was described as a “gaping wound”, Withrow was pulled over by police and recorded a blood-alcohol level of .175.

He was charged with drink driving, a charge that was this week upheld on appeal by Justice Nicholson who said Withrow had other safer options than to drive himself to the hospital.

Judge Nicholson said: “He found a large sewing needle and some fishing line and commenced suturing the wound himself. Not having any antiseptic in the house, the appellant used gin to wash the wound. The process of stitching the wound was, not surprisingly, quite painful. The appellant therefore also drank the gin which proved to be an effective form of pain relief.”

Dismissing his appeal against his charge of drink driving, Nicholson said Withrow’s decision to drive could have been dangerous as if it had been completed it would have “required him to traverse the main arterial road of Main South Road on a Friday afternoon”, posing a clear danger to himself and other road users.

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