Strange place police found drink driver who failed to appear

A MAN who has never held a licence was found by police in an outdoor bathtub after High Range drink driving in Townsville.

David James Clarke, 53, pleaded guilty at Emerald Magistrates Court on November 30 to driving under the influence of liquor, driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle, two counts of driving a vehicle with cancelled number plates, driving without a licence and failure to appear in court.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said Townsville police were patrolling Ross River Rd on August 19 when they saw a vehicle turn around, with checks revealing the number plates were cancelled.

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Further checks showed the vehicle was unregistered and uninsured.

Clarke, the driver, told police he went to the service station but turned around when he saw them because he knew he shouldn’t be driving.

He said he had never held a drivers licence, Sgt Ongheen told the court.

Clarke took part in a road side breath test which revealed a blood-alcohol content (BAC) reading of .153.

He was arrested and taken to the Townsville watch-house and was issued a notice to appear at court.

Clarke failed to appear on his court date and Emerald police were notified of a new address.

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Sgt Ongheen said Emerald police went to the address and found Clarke bathing in an outdoor bathtub. He was arrested and taken to the Emerald watch-house.

Magistrate Robert Walker said the most serious of the seven charges was driving under the influence, with a high reading suggesting his judgment was compromised, putting himself and other road users at risk.

“I mucked up. I’m sorry and I’m guilty,” Clarke said.

He has since moved to Sapphire, taken in a dog and told the court he would get his licence before driving again.

Clarke was fined a total of $2400 and disqualified from driving for nine months.

All convictions were recorded.