Fraser tour guide drink-drives while driving backpackers

DRINK DRIVER: Timothy Mark Heffernan, 36, of Rainbow Beach, leaves Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.
DRINK DRIVER: Timothy Mark Heffernan, 36, of Rainbow Beach, leaves Hervey Bay Magistrates Court. Annie Perets

A FRASER Island tour guide was still drunk when he got behind the wheel with a group of backpackers on-board.

Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard Timothy Mark Heffernan was more than twice the legal alcohol limit when stopped for a random breath test on the island's eastern beach.

The 36-year-old pleaded guilty on Wednesday to drink-driving.

The former tour leader told the court he had lost his livelihood and home since the incident on December 9 last year.

"I made a very big mistake," Heffernan said.

"I love my job as a tour guide on Fraser Island."

Heffernan stayed up drinking with backpackers from his tour group the night before, the courtroom heard.

Police prosecutor Sonia Edwards said Heffernan was stopped by police officers about 7.50am.

He was driving a four-wheel drive vehicle where "a number of backpackers" were seated.

"He stated he consumed half a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon," Snr Const Edwards said.

Heffernan blew an alcohol reading of .102.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge told him that he abused his position of responsibility.

Heffernan was fined $750 and disqualified from driving for six months.



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