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Driver was three times over the limit

A Warwick man was banned from the roads yesterday after he was caught driving while almost three times over the drink driving limit on the last day of an earlier disqualification.

Tiko Hassell, 42, pleaded guilty in Magistrates' Court to driving while over the legal alcohol limit, driving while disqualified and failing to stop for police.

The court heard police were on patrol on Ord Road, Warwick. on April 27 when they spotted a driver who had committed a previous offence and was driving while disqualified.

The officers noticed Hassell driving the car west along Ord Road and signalled for him to stop.

But Hassell speeded up, overtook three other cars and forced oncoming traffic to brake to avoid a collision.

Police followed Hassell until near the junction with Cherry Lane, where a stationary vehicle in the road forced him to stop.

He told the officers: “I thought you were coming for me so I just left.

“Then I heard you coming and thought I would overtake the cars to see if you would follow.”

Officers told him that he was driving while disqualified, but he said he thought the disqualification ended that day.

He also admitted to the police that he had been drinking.

Hassell agreed to provide police with a breath sample.

He told officers: “I'm probably going to fail because I have been out for two months drinking.”

A breath test showed he had 230 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood — almost triple the legal limit of 80 milligrams.

Hassell at first denied the offence of driving while disqualified, but changed his plea after he was told his disqualification ended on April 28 — the day after he was stopped.

The court heard the conviction was Hassell's third for a drink driving offence, with his last conviction in November 2018.

Magistrate Maxanne Anderson fined Hassell $750 for driving while disqualified, $200 for failing to stop for police and another $1,500 for driving while over the legal alcohol limit.

She also disqualified Hassell from driving and referred Hassell to the DUI Court programme.

Ms Anderson did not specify the disqualification period, but said Hassell would be able to earn his licence back through the programme.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Magistrates' Court (File photograph)

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Published June 24, 2020 at 11:27 am (Updated June 24, 2020 at 11:27 am)

Driver was three times over the limit

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