OFF THE ROAD: The supervising driver was fined $1000 and banned from driving for 10 months for being drunk.
OFF THE ROAD: The supervising driver was fined $1000 and banned from driving for 10 months for being drunk. stocksnapper

Drunk uncle unable to supervise learner

SUPERVISING a learner driver while drunk and more than three times the legal limit has cost a man a $1000 fine and his licence for 10 months.

Neil Vincent Barrett, 47, was breath tested when police pulled over the car he was travelling in on Lamb St, Murgon, on April 1.

He had a breath alcohol concentration of 0.160%.

Solicitor Tim Campion said Barrett had been in town and stopped at the Royal Hotel for a few drinks before his niece, a learner driver, picked him up.

"He was happy to be a passenger getting a lift," he said.

But police prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Bushell said Barrett was not a passenger, he was supervising a learner driver and that meant he was in charge of the vehicle.

"A female person was in the driver's seat and the defendant was in the passenger seat," he said.

"He is instructing a learner driver whilst he is not capable of instructing that learner driver.

"It's an important responsibility."

Mr Campion said Barrett did not know that being a passenger in a car driven by a learner made him the instructing driver.

"He says he wasn't aware of this type of law but that doesn't mean that law wasn't effective," he said.

Magistrate Simon Young said he found it a bit hard to believe Barrett did not know the rule.

"If you are not aware of that obligation then you don't have the right to hold a licence," he said.

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