Boatie's marine licence suspended for drink-driving

WHEN Fisheries officers spotted fisherman Desmond Rayner drinking beer on his boat while out on the Port of Gladstone, police were contacted and he blew .086.

Rayner, 52, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to drink-driving while navigating a vessel at 4.45pm on April 5, and failing to appear in court on May 22.

Rayner appeared in dock yesterday, arrested after failing to appear in court last week, which he said was due to a date mix up.

"I was certain it was May 25," he said.

Prosecutor Sgt Merrilyn Hoskins said Fisheries stopped Rayner on another matter and noticed he was drinking.

Rayner told police he drank six beers and tested positive.

Court discussion between the prosecutor, defence lawyer Jun Pepito and magistrate Mark Morrow focussed on whether a disqualification of his marine licence also meant Rayner lost his driver's licence.

Marine legislation was scrutinised and agreement was reached between the parties - not to lose both.

Rayner was asked whether his marine licence was work related or recreational. He said it was recreational only.

The court heard Rayner wrongly believed he had to attend court on May 25 and this was when police arrested him.

Mr Pepito said his client misread the court paperwork.

"He's supposed to wear glasses," he said.

Mr Morrow fined Rayner $400 and disqualified his marine licence for two months. He was fined $200 for failing to turn up at court.


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