Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns has escaped a full-time jail term over a case of high-range drink-driving that led to a crash after he drove in the wrong direction along the Pacific Highway.
Raymond Terrace Local Court heard on Wednesday that Johns had a "demonic relationship with alcohol" and had been self-medicating with it when the smash occurred - he was three times the legal limit at the time.
Magistrate Ian Cheetham sentenced the 43-year-old to a 10-month intensive corrections order, disqualified him from driving for seven months and ordered that he be subject to an alcohol interlock system in his vehicle for two years when he is once again allowed to drive.
The maximum penalty for the charge Johns faced was 18 months in jail.
An intensive corrections order is recorded as a conviction and essentially viewed as a term of imprisonment served in the community, involving supervision from the department of community corrections.
Magistrate Cheetham said the "very serious offence" crossed the threshold for jail time but "the community interest is best served by Mr Johns continuing to receive [mental health] treatment in the community".
A psychologist's report prepared for the court described Johns as a "deeply troubled person".
Johns served a three-month period in rehabilitation and has abstained from alcohol since the crash.
His lawyer Bryan Wrench said Johns had suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome, an eating disorder and reactive arthritis - which has resulted in chronic pain brought on by stress - among other health conditions since being catapulted to international fame as a teenager.
Mr Wrench said the spotlight had brought Johns years of vitriol, harassment and abuse which led him to become a "recluse".
"This started this demonic relationship with alcohol," he said.
"He uses the alcohol as self medication.
"He wants to show he does not want to drink alcohol, he does not want to be that person."
The court heard that Johns had "gone walkabout" the night of the crash, as the stress of the impending release of a new album had given him stomach ulcers, made him vomit and manifest in other physical ways.
"He had no reason to leave that holiday home where they [Johns and his partner] decided to escape," Mr Wrench said. "He simply got in the car ... and simply drove to get away."
Johns was driving an SUV when he became lost and turned from a service centre onto the wrong side of the Pacific Highway at North Arm Cove on the night of March 23.
His vehicle collided with a van, causing them both to roll. The two occupants of the van - aged in their 50s - were treated at the scene. Magistrate Cheetham said on Wednesday he had no evidence of any injuries.
Johns recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.157 - more than three times the legal limit. He told police he had consumed one bottle of wine and one can of vodka before driving.
He admitted himself into rehab after being charged and pleaded guilty in April.
Johns previously lost his licence for three months and was fined $880 in 2015 over one count of mid-range drink-driving.
Johns previously lost his licence for three months and was fined $880 in 2015 over one count of mid-range drink-driving in 2014.
In that matter, he was caught driving his Jaguar between 70km/h and 80km/h in a 50km/h zone at Merewether.
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