Mr O’Donnell is accused of then turning into the Bourke Street Mall, driving along tram tracks and crashing into a bollard.
Bollards were erected in central Melbourne after the death of six people who were hit by a car driven by James Gargasoulas in Bourke Street in January 2017.
The Lancer Mr O’Donnell allegedly drove was later found abandoned in Ashworth Street in Albert Park.
Mr O’Donnell, from the Ballarat suburb of Sebastopol, is also charged with dangerous driving while being pursued by police, reckless conduct risking serious injury, driving while disqualified and other offences.
Mr O’Donnell didn’t say anything during his short court hearing and at one point rested his head on his arms as he sat at a table in a custody area.
He was recently prescribed medication for depression, his lawyer, Gemma McInerney, said.
Mr O’Donnell was remanded in custody to next appear before court on February 23.
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.