Dad cops huge fine for drink driving
BUSTED after midnight driving at nearly five times the legal alcohol limit landed a truck driver with a big hit to the hip pocket.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that the offending driver had been caught drink driving before but his alcohol reading this time was way higher.
Maia Leonard Wirepa, 34, from Flinders View, pleaded guilty to driving when under the influence of liquor (0.232) at West Ipswich on September 28.
Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said police intercepted Wirepa driving a truck on Tiger St in West Ipswich at 1.45am.
Officers could smell liquor on Wirepa's breath and a subsequent test revealed a reading of 0.232.
Defence lawyer Bill Leather said Wirepa, a dad of two, was a self-employed tiler who had taken on tradesmen and apprentices.
He said Wirepa suffered significant injuries in a motorbike crash.
The court heard Wirepa had recently been going through personal difficulties with his mother coming from New Zealand to help out the family.
Magistrate Brian Kucks said his history showed Wirepa was before an Ipswich court just over three years ago on a drink driving charge.
"Your reading then was just over a third of what the alcohol reading is today," Mr Kucks said.
"You were more than four-and-a-half times the legal limit. Your manner of driving is what drew police attention."
"You are fortunate standing here today facing this charge that it is not something far more serious where you could be facing a prison term of many years."
Mr Kucks convicted and fined Wirepa $2300, and disqualified his driver's licence for 16 months, saying Wirepa will have to install an Interlock device to be able to drive when he gets his licence back.
Mr Kucks warned him not to be tempted to drive during the disqualification, or he would risk a jail term.