Drink driver in Chinchilla court with $30,000 in SPER debt
MAGISTRATE Tracy Mossop was forced to impose probation on a drink driver who had racked up a SPER debt of $30,000.
Adam Richard Alexande Benko faced Chinchilla Magistrates Court on Thursday, August 20, and pleaded guilty to four charges including driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of used drug utensils, possession of a knife, and driving an unsafe vehicle.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court police pulled Benko over on Banana Bridge Road Hopeland at 6.45pm.
“The defendant and the vehicle were detained for search,” snr const Tahana said.
In the front driver door, snr const Tahana said police found a used meth pipe, which Benko owned up to.
“They (then) located a pocketknife in the waist band of the defendant’s shorts,” she said.
When police inspected the car, snr const Tahana said numerous safety concerns arose; the car was missing its front side mirrors, the front two tires were bald, wires were directed into the ignition from the dash to get the car to run, the centre console was missing, the gearshift knob was missing, plastic barring between the internal pillars of the car were broken off and strewn about inside, and the glovebox was broken.
Police then issued a road side breath test which indicated Benko was driving the unsafe car while under the influence of alcohol, which a further analysis returning a reading of 0.155.
Peters Criminal Lawyer Claire Graham said the single 40-year-old Ipswich born man is currently out of work, but usually works as a spray painter.
“He’s been out of work for a few months, that’s when he has relocated to this area to help his uncle who sustained some heart attacks” Ms Graham said.
“He does instruct me… he was working on his vehicle… that he test drove it to see how it was running, and he was about 500 metres, on my instruction, from his home when he intercepted.
“I submit that a fine would be appropriate.”
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said there’s an issue with fining Benko as he already owes SPER $30,000.
“We are at the point now where fines don’t deter him,” she said.
Benko was convicted and not further punished for driving an unsafe vehicle, and a conviction was recorded.
In relation to drive driving, possession of a knife, and the possession of a meth pipe Benko’s licence was suspended for 12 months, and he was placed on nine months’ probation, and a conviction was recorded.