Silverchair’s Daniel Johns Avoids Jail Time After ‘High-Range Drink Driving’ Incident
UPDATE (June 6, 2022): As reported by ABC News Australia, Daniel Johns has avoided jail time, but has been ordered to complete 10 months of an intensive corrections community sentence. Johns could have received up to 18 months in jail, but his sentence was significantly cut after he plead guilty to the charge in April. The singer will continue the psychiatric treatment he had already been receiving and will not be allowed to drive for the next seven months. Once that period is up, his vehicle will be fitted for an alcohol-reading device and he must use that for an addition 24 months before his license will be reinstated.
UPDATE (April 11, 2022): As reported by The Guardian, Daniel Johns has pleaded guilty to the charge of "high-range drink driving" and could potentially face jail time as part of his punishment. Johns' lawyer, Bryan Wrench, made an attempt to move the case along with haste, citing the mental toll due to the "anxiety" it was causing the musician, who has an extensive public history of mental health struggles. Magistrate Ian Cheetham denied the request and a sentence is expected to be handed down on June 22.
As reported by Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, the 42-year-old musician, who will release his new solo album FutureNever on his birthday on April 22, was driving an SUV on the northbound side of the Pacific Highway and hit a van that was traveling in the southbound lane.
“He was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace police station where he underwent a secondary breath analysis which returned an alleged reading of 0.157,” the New South Wales Police Force stated. Per the FindLaw website in Australia, "High range [drink driving] refers to the amount of alcohol in your system. If you have drive a vehicle with 0.15 percent or more alcohol in your system at the time and you are caught by the police, you will be charged with a high range drink driving offense."
Johns has historically been open about his own personal struggles, dating back to 1999 when he revealed that he was afflicted with anorexia and anxiety. Last year, he further explored his own anxiety, depression and anorexia on the Who Is Daniel Johns? podcast and, in a new social media post following the car crash, he explained that in addition to therapy, he's been "self-medicating with alcohol" as a means of dealing with a multitude of mental health burdens.
The musician also shared, "Over the last week I began to experience panic attacks. Last night I got lost while driving and I was in an accident," and clarified that everyone involved in the crash, which involved a 51-year-old male driver and a 55-year-old female passenger, were okay. Both of the occupants of the van that was struck by Johns were reportedly treated at the scene, while the woman was later taken to a hospital for additional treatment and has since been released.
Read Johns' full statement below.
As you know, my mental health is a work in progress. I have good days and bad days but it;'s something I always have to manage.
Over the last week I began to experience panic attacks.
Last night I got lost while driving and I was in an accident. I am ok, everyone is ok.
Alongside my therapy, I've been self-medicating with alcohol to deal with my PTSD, anxiety and depression, I know this is not sustainable or healthy.
I have to step back now as I'm self admitting to a rehabilitation center and I don't know how long I'll be there. Appreciate your love and support always.
If you or someone you know if struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889.