'Drink driver' wins appeal against sentence

BENJAMIN Briscoe successfully appealed his "excessive" sentence in Gladstone District Court yesterday.

On August 17, 2014, police caught him sitting on his motorbike with the ignition on, showing off to his mates, and consequently charged him with driving under the influence.

He recorded a blood-alcohol limit of 0.12, and although he was not riding the bike at the time, it was deemed he was in control of it and the bike was running, so he was charged.

Crown prosecutor David Finch agreed that magistrate Penelope Hay's order on August 19 - that the 21-year-old be disqualified from driving for 12 months, pay $1500 and have his conviction recorded - was extreme.

"The Crown accepts the 12-month disqualification was excessive in the circumstances," he said.

Judge Greg Koppenal said he was concerned the conviction would negatively affect the young man in the future, and because he had a clean record, he didn't deserve to have a conviction recorded.

"I agree that six months would have been more appropriate... and it is inappropriate to record a conviction," he said.

Judge Koppenal ordered the disqualification be reduced to six months, and the conviction wiped from his record.

No appeal had been made against the fine, so it was left standing.

Afterwards Mr Briscoe walked out of the court, sat down and put his head in his shaking hands.

"You could say I'm happy," he said.



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