Tradie's nightmare double bust 'catastrophic'

A DRINK-DRIVING tradie got busted twice in two hours after police issued him with an immediate suspension at midnight, causing him to leave his ute with all his tools on the side of the road.

The tradie was apparently driving to a friend's house who was in distress and in need of comforting.

The impact of his decision was said to be "catastrophic" for his work life.

When Ben Mitchell did not get someone else to move the Ford Ranger for him but went to do it himself, he was again caught drink-driving.

As a result, the Ipswich mobile carpenter was taken off the road for 2 ½ years.

Benjamin John Mitchell, 26, from Eastern Heights, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to drink-driving at Murgon at 11.45pm on April 11; drink-driving at Murgon at 1.45am on April 12; and driving when suspended on April 12.

Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said Mitchell in his first offence had an alcohol reading of 0.137. Then two hours later it was 0.126.

He told police he drank five XXXX Golds, and four Jack Daniels and Cokes, saying he was driving to the house of a female friend who was in trouble over her personal life and heading over to comfort her.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the carpenter had been working away at Murgon and staying in a hotel.

"He says he returned to it to ensure it was able to be parked safely. Obviously a foolish decision but the trailer held tools, his livelihood," Mr Fairclough said.

"That decision has catastrophic consequences on his life and family as a self-employed, married father of one."

Magistrate Louisa Pink said his traffic history was good, but his act of trying to protect the tools of his trade was very foolish with serious consequences to his work.

Mitchell was also fined $1500 as well as losing his licence.

He was warned by Ms Pink not to drive in that time or he would risk more years of disqualification.



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