Drunk learner dodges jail after crashing through fence
A LEARNER driver who crashed his car into a paddock and became bogged in the mud escaped injury only to find himself entangled in legal trouble.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Barry John Lister, 50, had been at his friend's house on June 22 where he "drank white wine" before heading home to Coominya.
The 40km drive didn't go to plan.
Losing control about 1am on the Brisbane Valley Highway, Pine Mountain, Lister crashed his red Ford Capri through a barbed wire fence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said paramedics found Lister and his passenger uninjured but police noticed Lister seemed intoxicated.
"(He had) slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, appeared drowsy and, when he was removed from the vehicle, he was unable to stand," Sgt Dick said.
Tests confirmed Lister's blood-alcohol concentration was .175, more than three times the legal limit.
Police also discovered Lister only held a learner's licence, meaning he was required to display L plates on his car and drive with a fully-licenced supervisor.
"Checks revealed the passenger did not hold any licence," Sgt Dick said.
"And the vehicle did not have L plates attached - he told police he was 50 and was never going to display L plates because it was embarrassing."
Lister's excuse didn't fly with Magistrate Terry Duroux.
"Get over it sir - that's just the way the law is and you must comply with it," Mr Duroux said.
The court heard Lister was subject to a suspended jail sentence at the time of the crash - a sentence that could be activated if he broke the law at all during the operational period.
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Mr Duroux told Lister he could send him to jail but Lister said he had "forgotten all about" the suspended sentence.
"Doesn't the law mean I have to do something with that suspended sentence? It does; I've got to do something with it today," Mr Duroux said.
"By virtue of your actions on that day, you've breached the suspended sentence."
Mr Duroux extended the length of the suspension by six months but did not activate it.
Lister pleaded guilty to three charges and was fined $1500 for driving under the influence.
He also landed fines for his other two offences - $213 for failing to display plates and $213 for driving without a supervisor.
Lister was disqualified from driving for 10 months.
His convictions were recorded.
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