IN COURT: A man faced the Murgon magistrate for driving under the influence.
IN COURT: A man faced the Murgon magistrate for driving under the influence. contributed

Repeat drink-driver punished by magistrate

WHEN his friends started talking about stealing cars, James Elgar Stanley made the decision to drive home, but his attempt to avoid trouble landed him in Murgon Magistrates Court.

After a day of drinking at the South Burnett Anzac Day Races in Wondai, the 43-year-old was intercepted by police on the Bunya Highway at 2.35am for a routine check.

Stanley returned a blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.155, a high reading of more than three times the limit.

Defence lawyer Chris Campbell said Stanley, who stopped drinking at 11.30pm, had plans to stay in Wondai but knew his friends had stolen cars before and didn't want to be involved.

Magistrate Louisa Pink said there was no excuse for getting behind the wheel while under the influence and putting other road users at risk.

"I do not accept the circumstances of your offending,” Ms Pink said.

"If you were with mates, or you were on your own, and they decide they are going to commit offences, you can't commit a serious offence yourself to stop them.”

Stanley had six prior convictions for drink-driving, the latest offence in 2013.

Police prosecutor Barry Stevens said Stanley had a dreadful traffic history, and all offences were for high readings.

"We don't need any more prime examples of how dangerous the roads are following the deaths we have had in Queensland over the past week,” Snr Sgt Stevens said.

"This needs to be a very clear message that if you are a mature offender who continues to drink-drive, you are showing contempt to the community and are a danger to yourself and the community.”

Stanley was convicted and fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for six months.