Business owner caught unlicensed twice in two days

IN THE space of just two days professional tiler Hendrik Koorts was caught twice driving when unlicensed.

The second time when stopped by police he also tested positive to alcohol, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

The 70-year-old businessman should have not been driving because he knew his licence had been suspended due to demerit points.

Hendrik Johannes Koorts, from Goodna, pleaded guilty to driving when unlicensed due to demerit points in Wacol on March 29; driving when unlicensed due to demerit points in Goodna on March 31; and driving when over the no alcohol limit (reading must be zero because he held no licence) on March 31.

Prosecutor Sergeant Trent Voigt said Koorts had been suspended from driving due to his number of demerit points.

When intercepted the first time Koorts told officers he left his licence at home.

He provided his details and a police check revealed his licence was suspended on March 13 for three months.

"He said he was aware that he was suspended due to the accumulation of demerit points, and said he was on his way home," Sgt Voigt said.

"Police did not immobilise his work vehicle due to the hardship it would cause the family business."

Sgt Voigt said Koorts was again intercepted at 7.35pm on March 31 and his breath tested positive to alcohol.

"He said he had dinner with his children and had 1 ½ glasses of red wine," Sgt Voigt said.

He was not aware that zero alcohol applied when not licensed."

The alcohol reading was 0.026 and Koorts was again unable to show police his driver's licence.

Sgt Voigt said police seized the rego plates from his vehicle, which was immobilised for 90 days.

Defence lawyer David Fitzgerald said South African born Koorts was a former schoolteacher who operated a family tiling business that employed his two sons and operated across southeast Queensland.

"He is committed to his business and was devastated by his marriage break-up 18 months ago," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"My client was very forthright with police."

Magistrate Dennis Kinsella told Koorts his actions were, "stupid, that's the plainest way to put it."

Mr Fitzgerald agreed, saying two offences for unlicensed driving within two days "is clearly not something that can be trivialised".

He said the first offence involved Koorts driving a work vehicle on his way home from a prospective job.

He said Koorts now employed a person for $100 a day to drive him to work sites to do quotes.

Mr Kinsella said there was no doubting the consequences the driving offences would have on his business, "but the impact upon you has been brought about by yourself".

He said Koorts also had a terrible traffic history, but not for similar offences.

Mr Kinsella also noted the emotional impact and anxiety experienced as a result of his marriage break-up, and that Koorts should seek professional help for this.

He said his offences were compounded by Koorts getting behind the wheel just two days afterwards.

Koorts was fined $1300 and his licence disqualified for nine months.



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