Drunken driver jailed for stealing, crashing car

After a few beers with a friend, Theepan Jeyaraj decided to steal a van from a previous employer and take it for a joyride.

He crashed it into a lorry - injuring its driver - then tried to flee the scene by catching a taxi, even though he did not have enough money to pay for it.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to five offences - drink-driving, driving without a licence, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and theft of a vehicle.

He was given four months in jail for the theft with a further six weeks for drink-driving.

Three other offences were considered during sentencing.

He was fined $1,100 and banned from driving for three years .

District Judge Marvin Bay, who sentenced Jeyaraj, said: "(Jeyaraj's) course of actions - of a heavily inebriated individual, stealing a heavy vehicle on a whim, driving dangerously during his joyride, and finally precipitating an accident - have the potential to wreak havoc on our roads, with possible tragic outcomes."

His friend, Mr K Aadesh, was not charged in relation to the case. - JAN LEE