chainsaw
Timothy Withrow cut his hand during an accident at his home in Port WillungaGetty

An Australian who drank gin to ease the pain of having to stitch up his own chainsaw wound before travelling to hospital has lost his appeal against a drink driving charge.

Learner driver Timothy Withrow was three times over the legal limit when he was pulled over by police for failing to stop at a sign last February.

Withrow said he was driving to hospital after he severely cut his hand using a chainsaw at his home in Port Willunga, south of Adelaide.

After using a sewing needle and fishing wire to seal up the wound, Withrow used gin as a makeshift disinfectant, which he also drank to help with the pain.

After he was charged with drink driving and other traffic offences, Withrow attempted to appeal a court decision which would have allowed his case to be categorised as "trifling".

Under Australian law, "trifling" offences would result in a lesser punishment as "proper cause" existed for the offence to be committed.

Justice Kevin Nicholson has now rejected Withrow's appeal, saying he had other options other than to drive under the influence of alcohol to the hospital, such as calling an ambulance or taxi, or approaching a workman or a neighbour.

"He posed a clear danger not only to himself but to other road users," Nicholson said.

"I admire [his] courage and his tolerance to pain but I do not admire his judgment."

Withrow said he had dialled emergency services twice after his accident, but was told they were busy and he would not be treated for more than 10 hours. He added he could not afford an ambulance or taxi.

Withrow is due to be sentenced at a later date.