Dodgy driver gets good deal in court

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

A SIN­GLE mother caught driv­ing to and from work while her li­cence was dis­qual­i­fied has been fined $400.

Misty Chookoon, 23, avoided a con­vic­tion when she pleaded guilty in Echuca Mag­is­trates Court on Tues­day to driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Mick Arnott said at 3.06pm on May 14, po­lice fol­lowed Chookoon as she drove out of Echuca’s Sim­plot fac­tory into Den­mark St be­fore stop­ping her on the Mur­ray Val­ley Hwy.

Checks re­vealed her li­cence was can­celled for six months from Jan­uary 31 due to a con­vic­tion for dan­ger­ous driv­ing and fail­ing to stop on po­lice di­rec­tion.

‘‘I’m just a sin­gle mother try­ing to get by,’’ she told po­lice at the time.

Lawyer Greg John­ston said

There are pres­sures to drive but prison can be an op­tion and you risk fur­ther time off the road if you do it again and it will be for a lot longer

Chookoon did not drive dan­ger­ously, she just ac­cepted the charge.

Mr John­ston said as well as los­ing her li­cence for six months, his client had breached her golden point op­tion so she still had 44 days left be­fore she could get her li­cence back.

On the day, Mr John­ston said Chookoon had a con­flict with a work col­league, who called the po­lice.

‘‘They were her,’’ he said.

‘‘Gen­er­ally she gets a taxi or gets some­one to take her to wait­ing for work but she couldn’t any­one on this oc­ca­sion.’’

He said the mother of a fiveyear-old had to work less since los­ing her li­cence be­cause of the dif­fi­cul­ties of get­ting to work, and there­fore was earn­ing less money.

Mag­is­trate Michael King said when or­dered off the road, peo­ple needed to obey.

‘‘I un­der­stand there are pres­sures to drive but prison can be an op­tion and you risk fur­ther time off the road if you do it again and it will be for a lot longer,’’ he said.

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