A MAN who thought he was drinking mid-strength beers but was instead drinking full strength will not be back on the road for 18 months after his high-range drink-driving conviction.
Jade Noel Cusack had been on his P-plates for nine years and his solicitor Rod Hunt said he had not been able to afford to pay for his full licence - an argument the magistrate, Terry Lucas, did not buy.
He told him that if he had enough money to go out and drink to a high-range level then he had enough money to pay for his licence.
Mr Hunt said his client had only just made it into the high-range category with a reading of 0.154.
Police were not drawn to Cusack because of his manner of driving but because he was on his P-plates he was under “extra scrutiny”, Mr Hunt said.
But Cusack was not displaying P-plates on his car at the time.
He told police he drank four or five schooners of XXXX Gold between 1pm and 11.30pm, 45 minutes before he was pulled over at 12.14am on Saturday, March 29.
However, Mr Hunt said another person had supplied the alcohol and Cusack did not realise he was not drinking XXXX, rather he was drinking full-strength beer.
Officers said, at the time of his arrest, Cusack appeared to be moderately to well-affected by alcohol and his eyes were watery and his speech was slurred.
Mr Lucas fined him $1600 and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.
The 27-year-old had not participated in the driver education program.