Robert John Laverty
Robert John Laverty

Repeat driving offender in court, disqualified until 2029

Lending a helping hand was no good excuse for breaking the law, with a Maranoa feedlot worker copping the punishment for driving a co-worker home while on a lengthy licence suspension.

Robert John Laverty, 24, was on a licence suspension until 2029 after previous drink driving convictions, when he still decided to drive his work mate home as she was scared of driving on a wet road, the Roma Magistrates Court heard on January 19.

But the court heard police pulled Laverty up on Roma Southern Road at 3.40pm on October 21.

"The defendant stated that the reason he was driving was they were returning home where they were working at a feedlot approximately 40km south of Roma," police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court.

"And his passenger, who's the owner of the car, was scared of driving it on the wet road following a storm that passed a short time earlier."

Laverty also returned a breath alcohol test of 0.032, which is an offence given that he also drove unlicensed.

Solicitor Cathie Tucker said it was Laverty's 'willingness to help' that landed him in court.

She said his employer, who was in the courtroom, said they've never had any alcohol-related issues with Laverty during his employment.

But Magistrate Peter Saggers reminded Laverty that disobeying a court ordered disqualification can be seen as contempt.

"You cannot drive. You are not allowed to drive. It's that simple and that clear. That's the order of the court," Magistrate Saggers said sternly.

"If you drive and you disregard the orders of the court, then there has to be some form of punishment.

"Because if there's not, then the orders become meaningless.

"The young lady may have become concerned about driving, but you have to say, 'look, I can't drive, I am not allowed to drive.'"

Laverty pleaded guilty to two offences and was given a recorded conviction for both.

For driving over the zero alcohol limit but not over the general, he had his already-suspended licence disqualified again for six months, and got a $500 fine.

For driving unlicensed, he was given a four month prison sentence, wholly suspended for two years, and a two year driving disqualification.


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