Disqualified driver busted

A DISQUALIFIED driver who got a lucky break from being prosecuted was caught out when he was later involved in a traffic accident.

Last September, P-plater Luke Michael Maheffey, 20, had his drivers licence disqualified for 11 months for August offences of driving without due care, over the general alcohol limit and for driving outside restricted hours.

He was also placed on probation for 12 months with the condition he complete the Under the Limit program at Tafe.

After a tip-off from a member of the public, police intercepted Maheffey leaving Tafe on a motorbike on March 31 and charged him with unlicensed driving. He was fined $400 in Gympie Magistrates Court on April 15 and disqualified from driving for six months.

In court again on May 31, Maheffey faced a charge of driving while disqualified, which arose from a traffic accident at Toowoomba. The court heard another motorist ran a red light and crashed into Mahaffey’s vehicle on April 3.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said Mahaffey drove away from the scene and placed the blame on his cousin at first, before coming clean and owning up to driving the car.

While checking Mahaffey’s traffic history, Magistrate Maxine Baldwin noticed he had avoided being prosecuted for driving while disqualified the last time he was in court.

“You had a lucky break and you blew it... you were picked up on April 3 and didn’t get charged (with disqualified driving),” she said.

“Now it’s a mandatory two years (disqualification) from today – if you don’t last the two years you’re starting to look at a jail term.”

Maheffey said he told police his cousin was the driver for insurance purposes because it was not his car involved in the accident.

He added that he only drove twice and on both occasions he got caught. “When I get my licence back I’ll be one of the most sensible drivers on the road,” he promised.

“I know how much of an inconvenience it is (to lose the right to drive).”

Mrs Baldwin placed Maheffey on probation for two years to help prevent him driving in the next two years.

“If you’ve learned nothing else it’s that you have bad luck,” she said. “At the end of the day you have to understand this is d-day... in June 2012 you can put it behind you.”

Gympie Times

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