Drivers ignore law behind wheel

DRINK-DRIVING in the Bay has hit a staggering new level, with a whopping 49 offenders facing the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday.

Sitting in the courtroom, listening to the details of each case, it’s clear that not only do some local drivers have no respect for the law, they also have a complete disregard for the safety of other road users.

Three people who appeared before the court yesterday were picked up with alcohol readings of more than four times the legal limit.

An unaccompanied learner, a P-plater and a bicycle rider without a helmet were also among the throng of offenders.

One man appeared in court facing two separate drink-driving charges, the offences alleged to have occurred within the space of two months.

Mary Elizabeth Heath, another repeat drink-driver, blew .208 when she was picked up last month.

The court heard she was stopped after her car swerved on to the wrong side of the road and narrowly missed hitting a police car.

Heath also caused another car to stop suddenly as she tried to make a right-hand turn.

It was the 47-year-old’s fourth drink-driving conviction.

Despite being more than four times the legal limit, Heath just didn’t think she’d been “that intoxicated”, barrister Sarah Laikind told the court.

Heath was placed on 18 months probation and fined $700.

She also lost her licence for 18 months.

Gabriel Turangitukua Sullivan only held a learner’s permit when he was caught drink-driving and speeding along a Hervey Bay street on January 22.

He blew .237 per cent after his car was seen travelling at 120kmh in a 100kmh zone.

Sullivan’s front seat passenger did not hold a licence, which meant he was also charged with unaccompanied driving.

The 43-year-old was fined $1800 and disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Matthew Craig Nye was also fined $1800 and ordered off the roads for 18 months after he blew .217.

Nye’s car was seen to swerve on to the wrong side of the road twice on January 2 before he was intercepted by police.

His car was seized and impounded for two days.

The court heard it was Nye’s second drink-driving offence.

Defence lawyer John Milburn said Nye had no excuse for driving and was acting “stupidly”.

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