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Realtors plea to keep licence

Second drink-driving offence in five months exasperates magistrate.
Second drink-driving offence in five months exasperates magistrate.

PROMINENT real estate agent Geoffrey Marshall Lawson was told off by a Lismore Local Court magistrate yesterday following his second drink-driving offence in just five months.

Clearly exasperated, Magistrate Robyn Denes asked 63-year-old Lawson that if the court could not get the message across to people like him about not drinking and driving, then how could it get the message across to young drivers.

Lawson appeared in court seated in a wheelchair after pleading guilty to low-range drink driving (0.060) at Lismore Heights on November 23 last year.

At the time Lawson was on a court-imposed good behaviour bond imposed after he pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving (0.155) at Lismore Heights on June 19 last year. Police stopped his Hyundai Santa Fe after watching it leave the Lismore Heights Bowling Club, cross over unbroken lines, then narrowly miss a traffic sign before Lawson was stopped.

He told police he drank ‘three middies of ice with a bit of white wine in each’ and had eaten only a meat pie. A breath analysis revealed he was three times over the legal limit.

Lawson pleaded during the first offence not to lose his driver’s licence because it would affect his ability to work. Instead the court gave him a Section 10 good behaviour bond not to re-offend within two years.

Because of the breach of the bond, Lawson now faces re-sentencing on that first offence.

In the second offence, Lawson was stopped by police at an RBT and told officers he drank four middies of beer and one nip of Scotch.

“I honestly believed I was not over. I appeal to the court to allow me to retain my Section 10 bond,” Lawson pleaded in court yesterday.

“I’m a real estate agent. Without my licence I don’t have an income.”

Ms Denes warned Lawson to make other arrangements regarding his work ‘just in case’. He will be sentenced on March 22.

In a separate drink-driving matter, Paul Jordan, 34, of Goonellabah, was disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to attend AA after pleading guilty to mid-range drink driving (0.120) and speeding at Wyrallah on November 19 last year, doing 77km/h in a 50km/h zone.

Jordan told police he drank three 750ml bottles of white wine and champagne.

Ms Denes told Jordan his record was appalling and one more offence and he would go to jail.

He was put on a three-year supervised bond and was fined $200 for speeding.



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