Townsville Bulletin

Driver banned over poor judgment


A Two-and-a-half-year ban has been handed down to a man whose poor judgment has put him in front of a magistrate.

Vernon Mark Garate, 20, appeared in the Charters Towers Magistrate­s Court where he pleaded guilty to two charges of drink-driving while the holder of a provisiona­l driver’s licence, driving a motor vehicle while not allowed and driving while disqualifi­ed.

The prosecutor said Garate was stopped by police at 12.20am on October 5 at a carpark in Ryan St for the purpose of a roadside breath test.

Tests showed Garate had a blood alcohol reading of .140.

The court heard Garate made admissions to having consumed three alcoholic drinks since 10pm.

In addition to being a provisiona­l licence holder, requiring him to have a zero alcohol level, Garate’s licence was subject to a late night driving restrictio­n that did not allow him to drive at night.

The prosecutor said Garate was issued with an immediate suspension of his driver’s licence.

At 1.55am police saw Garate walking towards his vehicle. A short time later they noticed the vehicle was gone.

Garate was seen driving on to a property with the headlights off.

He was stopped by police, placed under arrest and taken to the police station where he was breathalys­ed again.

Tests on the second occasion showed Garate had a blood alcohol concentrat­ion of .141.

Magistrate Ross Mack convicted and fined Garate a total of $2400 and disqualifi­ed him from driving for a total of two years and six months.

He was warned not to drive during the disqualifi­cation period.

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