Magistrate warns 'don't drink and ride'

MAGISTRATE Michael O'Driscoll's message to Michael Frederick Mcgrath yesterday was simple; don't drink and ride.

Mcgrath pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday to being in charge of, or attempting to put into motion any horse, animal or non-motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor.

He was operating a bike while intoxicated when out for a late-night snack on October 5.

The court heard Mcgrath, who had never held a driver's licence, had consumed "five" cans of VB beer at home before he decided he was feeling peckish; and mounted his bike in search of food.

The police noticed him up shortly after, about 10.30pm.

"The police saw the defendant riding a bike... he was unsteady, slurring," police prosecutor Clancy Fox told the court.

"They saw the defendant fall backwards into a fence."

About 11pm that night Mcgrath gave a specimen of breath to police and recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.2g.

Mcgrath defended himself in court yesterday and appeared to be a man ashamed.

"It was irresponsible and my judgment was definitely affected by alcohol," he said.

"I am sorry about that."

In sentencing Mcgrath, Mr O'Driscoll said while he accepted it was a pushbike, it was still dangerous to all involved.

"With that high level of alcohol on a bike you become a threat to yourself and you could have been the subject of a motor vehicle accident, someone might not have been able to avoid you on the road," he said.

Mcgrath was fined $650 with the penalty being referred to SPER.



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