Drunk driver fined after crashing into Byron restaurant
A DRUNK Swedish driver who brought new meaning to the term "drive-through" restaurant when she crashed her campervan into a Byron Bay eatery last month has been fined $1200 and had her licence suspended for three years.
Emma Caroline Kursu did not appear in Byron Bay Local Court yesterday but pleaded guilty in absentia to high-range drink-driving.
The 21-year-old blew 0.181, more than three times the legal alcohol limit of 0.05, when she was tested at Byron police station following the accident on October 14.
The tourist tried to make a right turn into Fletcher St at 2.30am but failed and rolled the van onto its side, ending up in the deck area of The Junction Restaurant on Marvell St.
Restaurant operations manager Dave Edgson said it had cost $5000 to repair the damage.
He said his insurer would be chasing Kursu to recoup the money, which her insurance won't cover as she was intoxicated at the time.
"It was a very expensive night out; over $6000, plus a car that doesn't work any more. I think it's been impounded," Mr Edgson said.
"I hope she has rich parents."
Mr Edgson said the impact of the accident took chips out of the gutter where the van hit and was felt throughout the restaurant.
"It apparently shook the building so she wasn't going slow," he said.
Mr Edgson said damage perpetrated by overseas tourists was a real headache for Byron Bay licensees because it could be complicated to pursue legally.