Students on drink-drive charges

A DRIVE to the beach by five Indian students turned into a drunken road trip that ended up in Casino Local Court on Wednesday.

Two of the Brisbane-based men were charged with high-range blood alcohol. They were disqualified from driving and were heavily fined.

The five exchange students left Brisbane on Tuesday, July 13, with the intention of going to a Gold Coast beach but had somehow ended up in NSW, one of them, Nishith Jadhav, told the court.

The beers had come out as soon as they got in the car, the 21-year-old said.

As a result of a complaint about how their blue Ford Falcon car was being driven, police pulled it over at Broadwater, and breath-tested the driver, Ronak Prakashkumar Vyas, also 21.

He returned a reading of 0.165 and was arrested and taken to Woodburn police station.

When told that they would have to collect Vyas, his friends entered ‘police stations' in their car's navigation system, which directed them to Evans Head.

They pulled up outside a property in Cedar Street, Evans Head, which backed on to the police station in Teak Street.

A police officer lived at the Cedar Street house and was at home, off duty, at the time.

He became aware of loud voices and looked out to see the four men in the car, arguing among themselves.

He saw Jadhav sitting in the driver's seat.

The arguing became louder and the officer approached the car.

Jadhav left the car and walked away.

The officer called police from the station and went with another to the car and spoke to an occupant, Mr Gupta.

When asked why they were arguing, Mr Gupta said they wanted Jadhav to stop driving as he was affected by alcohol and driving dangerously.

Jadhav returned to the group. He smelt strongly of liquor, was unsteady on his feet and had ‘very bloodshot' eyes, police said.

He was breath-tested and returned a level of 0.210.

Jadhav pleaded guilty.

He was fined $800 and disqualified for 12 months. Vyas was fined $1000 and disqualified for 18 months.

Neither men hold an Australian licence. Jadhav has a British licence and Vyas an Indian.

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