New law sees driver over limit

ONE or two pots of XXXX Gold is enough to put provisional and learner drivers over the limit after the new law, beginning on July 1, came into effect.

The new laws require all learner and provisional drivers to have a zero alcohol limit.

But not all drivers know of this new law, as was the case in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.

John David Belford appeared in court on a drink driving charge with a blood alcohol reading of 0.011.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Brad Reynolds told the court Belford was intercepted at 4.25pm on July 7, only six days after the new law had come into effect.

Belford, who represented himself, said in his defence he hadn’t heard about the change in law and thought he had a 0.05 limit.

The defendant said he had consumed two pots of XXXX Gold to make sure he obeyed the law and stayed under the legal limit.

“After I was charged I went to the Department of Transport to find out about the new law and they said they had sent letters out to all learners and provisional license holders advising them of the change to the law, but I never received a letter from them and had no idea the law had changed,” Belford said.

Acting Magistrate Mark Morrow told the defendant ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The defendant stated he didn’t believe he was a danger to anyone on the road with the low reading he had.

Mr Morrow replied he had sympathy for the defendant as it was a low reading, but his hands were tied.

Belford was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for three months.

“If I could make it less for you I would, but I can’t,” Mr Morrow said.

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