Uber driver busted more than 3 times over the limit

 

An Uber driver who couriered clients while more than three times the alcohol limit has been excoriated by a magistrate for his "absolute abuse of trust" and "such hypocrisy".

Armed with a host of character references the demure man appeared at Cleveland Magistrates Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to one count of driving while under the influence of liquor.

Clocking a blood-alcohol level of 0.153 per cent Birkdale man James Edward Bennett, 47, was left in no doubt to the court's appraisal of his offending.

"It is insane," Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.

"Clients were paying him to protect them from what he did.

"It is a massive breach of trust with the company and his passengers".

Likely to never be able to work as an Uber driver again the court heard Bennett had been intercepted by police at around 3.20am on Rickertt Road in Ransome.

 

James Bennett leaves Cleveland Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to high-range drink driving. Picture: Marcel Baum
James Bennett leaves Cleveland Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to high-range drink driving. Picture: Marcel Baum

 

A police prosecutor said Bennett told officers on the morning he had just dropped off a client and had been on his way home.

Defence solicitor Ben Taylor said his client was a hardworking man with significant health issues who would be seriously hampered by the loss of ability to work as a driver.

Despite that, Mr Taylor said the defendant made no excuses for his offending for which he was "extremely remorseful".

The defence further told the court Bennett had completed the Queensland Traffic Offenders Program, cared for his son who was also of poor health, and did not have a "persistent alcohol problem".

Magistrate Vasta, who informed the court Queensland was on its way to one of its worst years for road fatalities, acknowledged the man's personal challenges but reaffirmed the seriousness of the offence.

"He was out there knowing he was drinking," she said.

"It is such a hypocrisy and an absolute abuse of their trust".

Bennett was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and disqualified from driving for six months.

With no previous drink driving to his name, a conviction was not recorded.

 

 

Originally published as Uber driver busted more than 3 times over the limit


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