This drink driver isn't afraid of the dark, just cops

IT was a case of peek-a-boo in the dark when a drink-driving disqualified driver spotted an oncoming police car at night and instantly flicked-off his headlights.

But police still saw Michael Clayton Batchelor, 27, despite the darkened vehicle being driven in Calliope at 1.30am and nabbed him.

Batchelor told officers he simply "freaked" when he saw the police car because he knew he should not have been driving.

Batchelor pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to drink-driving on June 8 in Calliope, not using lights when driving at night, and driving when disqualified by the court.

He tested positive at nearly three times the legal limit with an alcohol reading of 0.145.

Batchelor was fined $1600 and disqualified for two and a half years.

Prosecutor Sgt Merrilyn Hoskins said police had been patrolling the area at 1.30am after being told about a drink-driver, when they saw a vehicle with no headlights then turn into a residential driveway.

"He says he was freaking out when he saw police and turned off the lights," Sgt Hoskins said.

"He had been out getting firewood."

Sgt Hoskins said Batchelor told officers he had been drinking since the day before and was well aware that he was disqualified from driving.

Batchelor, an electrician, said he had been on a friend's nearby property.

"I only drove 40m on a public road," he said.

"I know it was wrong."

He had pleaded not to be disqualified for too long saying he needed his licence for work.

However, magistrate Penelope Hay took a dim view of his offending.

Ms Hay said Batchelor had a poor traffic record that included three drink driving offences, the most recent in April when he was disqualified by the court.

"It leaves you open to a term in jail. This is your one final opportunity," Ms Hay said.

"If you continue to commit these offences, or drive when court ordered disqualified, a term of imprisonment is likely.

"I accept you only drove a short distance but you were very drunk and had no headlights on."



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