Driving car 200m from home brings $1500 fine

IN the middle of the night, an unlicensed Russell John Whittaker went for a 200 metre drive that cost him $1500 and a further 2½ years without his licence.

The court heard Whittaker gave his car to his daughter on the afternoon on November 23 - warning her it was low on petrol.

"(But) His daughter hadn't heeded his advice and ran out of fuel some 200 metres from his house," defence solicitor Brad Krebs told the court.

"From his house you could see the vehicle parked down the street."

Mr Krebs said Whittaker then was woken early in the morning by a friend who had seen suspicious youths hanging around his car.

"He walked down there and observed a broken passenger window," he said.

"In his half woken, inebriated state, he got a jerry can of fuel he used to mow the lawn and poured it into the fuel tank."

Police prosecutor Sergeant Merilyn Hoskins told the court it was on that short drive home, at 12.20am, police pulled Whittaker over.

"He admitted to drinking over 10 cans of XXXX Gold and his licence was disqualified," she said.

"Once he was taken to the police station he refused to provide a breath specimen for analysis."

Magistrate Penelope Hay said the story did not make complete sense.

"If you had the fuel at home a short distance and you ultimately walked to the car, why didn't you get your daughter to do the same thing," she told the court.

"If you drive again you will serve a period of imprisonment."

Whittaker pleaded guilty to two charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court - driving without a licence and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

He received a $1500 fine and his licence was disqualified for a further 2½ years.



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