Former Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies charged with drink driving

CHARGED: Former Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies has been charged with mid-range drink-driving. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
CHARGED: Former Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies has been charged with mid-range drink-driving. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

HIS wife is in the jungle but Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies is in hot water after he was charged with drink-driving and refusing to submit to a breath test last month.

The Newcastle rock star and tequila company owner was charged with mid-range drink-driving.

According to court documents, the 38-year-old was detected driving in Hamilton shortly before 1am on January 21.

He was pulled over on Maitland Road in Islington.

Mr Gillies stands accused of blowing a blood alcohol reading of 0.144. 

He allegedly failed to submit to an officer’s request for a breath test, the charge sheet states.

Jackie Gillies is a contestant on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Picture: Network Ten

Jackie Gillies is a contestant on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Picture: Network Ten

He was charged with mid-range drink-driving (first offence), refusing or failing to submit to a breath test and negligent driving.

Mr Gillies did not appear in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday but was represented by solicitor John Anthony.

The court heard a plea would be entered on the next occasion. Magistrate Ian Cheetham adjourned the matter to March 1.

Mr Gillies is the second Silverchair band member to be charged with a drink-driving offence in recent times after Daniel Johns pleaded guilty to blowing the limit in his black Jaguar in Merewether on October 28, 2014.

The front man was fined $800 and disqualified from driving in 2015 over the mid-range offence.

Mr Gillies told the Newcastle Herald in 2016 that he had invested considerable time and money with his wife in start-up tequila company La Mascara. 

The drink-driving charge comes while Jackie Gillies is in the South African jungle as a contestant on Network Ten reality TV show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

Silverchair front man Daniel Johns pleaded guilty to a drink-drive charge in 2015. Picture: Simone De Peak

Silverchair front man Daniel Johns pleaded guilty to a drink-drive charge in 2015. Picture: Simone De Peak

She made headlines when she counselled troubled tennis player Bernard Tomic to encourage him to stay on the show before he eventually bowed out.

Mr Gillies wrote on Facebook on January 28 that he had “taken over” his wife’s social media accounts while she was in the jungle. 

He said he was “so proud” of Jackie but expressed sadness that he could not contact her while in the jungle.

Mrs Gillies was last year presented the keys to the city by lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes in a special ceremony at Fort Scratchley. 

Cr Nelmes said the reality TV star was handed the keys because of her advocacy for Newcastle in the media and Foxtel show The Real Housewives of Melbourne.