Crabber on '10 can' XXXX binge caught out
FISHERMAN Suny Platen got an unwelcome surprise with a visit by Fisheries officers and police when he got back on shore in the darkness just before 2am.
Their timing landed Platen his third drink-driving charge in two years - his second when in charge of a vessel.
Police prosecutor Gavin Reece told Gladstone Magistrates Court, officers saw Platen's 5m Savage tinnie was unmarked with no registration or identification.
Platen told police and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries officers he was the skipper of the vessel and had been out checking up on his crab pots.
As Platen loaded the tinnie onto a boat trailer, Mr Reece said Gladstone police saw it held "a large number of empty beer cans".
"He says he drank 10 cans of XXXX Gold since 5pm the afternoon before," Mr Reece said.
Breath tested he gave an alcohol reading of 0.082.
Platen, 24, pleaded guilty to driving over the alcohol limit on April 14.
Mr Reece said Qld Police sought his 'disqualification absolutely' because it was his third offence within two years, and two of the drink offences happened when in charge of a vessel.
Lawyer Jun Pepito said Platen was a commercial fisherman and instructs that when out that night drank eight cans of beer and did not eat. "On this day he was driving this boat to check on crab pots," Mr Pepito said.
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Magistrate Mark Morrow said Platen, by earning his livelihood as a commercial fisherman, should be more careful drinking.
"Being in charge of a boat is like being in charge of a car. You should be more careful," he said.
He said the fact Platen had history for such offending "makes it worse".
Mr Morrow said the fact he kept coming back before the court on drink driving offences meant he would lose any court sympathy.
He disqualified Platen's licence for 12 months and issued an $1100 fine.
"What about my coxswain's ticket," asked Platen. He was told to take it up with Transport.