Disqualified driver says he didn't know he needed to visit RMS

HARD LESSON: Driver finds out the hard way he needed to visit the RMS following a driving disqualification period. FILE PHOTO

HARD LESSON: Driver finds out the hard way he needed to visit the RMS following a driving disqualification period. FILE PHOTO

A man who said he did not know he had to visit the Roads and Maritime Services once his driving disqualification expired was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence when he appeared in Orange Local Court.

Scott Lindsay O’Brien, 31, of Jindalee Avenue, pleaded guilty to a repeat offence of driving while disqualified but said he thought he was right to drive at the time of the offence.

During sentencing, Magistrate Terry Lucas disqualified O’Brien from driving for two years, handed down the 18-month suspended jail sentence, and quashed a habitual offender declaration.

“I wasn’t aware you have to go back to the RTA,” he told Mr Lucas after the sentence was handed down. 

O’Brien was caught driving while disqualified by police on McLachlan Street at 2.20pm on February 8, when he was stopped for a random breath test.

He was represented in court by solicitor Rebecca McIlveen who said her client was not aware a habitual offender declaration had been made by the Roads and Maritime Services that increased the length of a driving disqualification.

“There is quite a compelling reason why he drove, he said he was disqualified for six months and then three months, which appears to have been back-dated so it should have been finished in November,” Ms McIlveen said.

“He said that he was ignorant that he had to go to the [Roads and Maritime Services].

“He was not aware of the habitual offender declaration.”

According to police facts, O’Brien’s licence was disqualified from May 23, 2016, to November 23, 2021.

When stopped by police O’Brien told them, “I thought the disqualification has finished already, I’m sure I’m right to drive.”

Driver caught

A man caught driving at 68km/h in a 50km/h zone while his licence was cancelled was last week sentenced in Orange Local Court.

Alexander Jonathan Whiteley, 24, of Byng Street, did not appear in court where he was disqualified from driving for two years and fined $1500 for driving while his licence was cancelled and he was fined $500 for speeding.

He was caught on Icely Road at 5.27pm on March 17, 2017 and told police he went to the Roads and Maritime Services but lost his photo ID and had trouble getting his licence back after it was disqualified.  

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