Drink-driver appeals for leniency

A 33-YEAR-OLD Minnie Water man facing Grafton Local Court on a drink-driving charge told the court he had drunk more than he intended because friends kept buying him drinks to celebrate the birth of his latest child.

Benjamin Patrick Agostino said he had gone to the Wooli Hotel after work on March 5 to have a couple of drinks after work.

Representing himself, Agostino said he was leaving the hotel when a friend placed a beer in front of him to congratulate him on the birth of his child.

He said that another friend also bought him a drink at the pub.

Police stopped Agostino in Main Street, Wooli at 7pm and breath tested him.

A subsequent breath analysis gave him a reading of 0.095.

Agostino told the court that his lack of licence was putting strain on his family as his partner had to drive him to and from work every day.

He told the court that this was his only drink-driving offence and his driving record only included some minor offences.

Magistrate Kim Pogson agreed that his record was quite good, but not good enough to warrant giving Agostino a second chance.

“A Section 10 (offence proved, with no conviction recorded) requires exceptional circumstances or an outstanding driving record,” Mr Pogson said.

“Your record is not bad, but it’s not outstanding and your reading was almost twice the legal limit.”

He found the offences proved and fined Agostino $800 and disqualified him from driving for the minimum period of six months.

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