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Drunk mower rider gets driving ban

Douglas Cavanagh, 52, of Raceview.
Douglas Cavanagh, 52, of Raceview.

A DRUNKEN joyride on a ride-on mower around an Ipswich tavern car park has earned a man a six-month driving ban.

Douglas Cavanagh, 52, drove his mower from Cascade St, Raceview, to Brothers Leagues Club after having a few drinks at home.

After a few more at the club, Cavanagh got back on his mower and rode around the car park, showing off in front of onlookers.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Cavanagh attempted to ride the mower into the club before being told to leave by security.

He weaved in and out of the taxi rank about midnight on March 31.

He then embarked on the journey home, which was about 700m away.

On his way he stopped for "a breather" and fell asleep at the wheel, before he was caught by police.

When breath tested he blew 0.188 - almost four times the legal limit.

Defence lawyer Justin Thomas said in Cavanagh's mindset, after a few drinks, he wasn't technically drink driving because he was behind the wheel of a mower, not a car.

Mr Thomas said Cavanagh was a father of six and was severely embarrassed by his actions.

"His conduct was more akin to public nuisance rather than drink driving. He could walk faster than the mower actually moved," Mr Thomas said.

He said Cavanagh didn't accept that he tried to drive into the club on the mower.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said while it was a good thing Cavanagh didn't get into a car while drunk, operating the mower was "stupid".

Ms Sturgess said Cavanagh should "quite rightly be embarrassed" by his actions.

"Other drivers on Wildey St shouldn't have to be dodging a drunk on a ride-on mower," Ms Sturgess said.

"Whether you knew it or not, driving a mower is the same as driving a car."

Cavanagh pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of liquor and was fined $600 in addition to the ban.

His family was in court to support him on Friday.

Topics:  driving ban, ipswich, ride-on mower


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