Gordon Peter Cowan
Gordon Peter Cowan

Sawmill operator loses licence for 16 months, $1500 fine

A sawmill operator has lost his licence for 16 months and copped a $1500 after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of liquor, but the Roma Magistrates Court heard his actual reading could have been lower.

Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said Gordon Peter Cowan had an altercation with another man at 6.40pm on February 28, 2020.

As a result, police followed up with the incident and found Cowan at his address shortly afterwards.

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Cowan told police he was driving at the time and consumed six beers afterwards.

But after a positive roadside test, he was taken to Injune Hospital for a blood test which returned 241mg per 100ml of blood, sergeant Whiting told the court.

However, sergeant Whiting said Cowan could have been drinking both before and after driving.

“There were also admissions... that there were drinking prior to driving, and there’s also admissions there was post-drinking,” sergeant Whiting said.

The court heard his actual blood alcohol level while driving may not be a ‘U.I.L’ (as in, over 0.15).

Magistrate Peter Saggers gave Cowan the opportunity to adjourn the hearing, but reminded him he still has the right to plead guilty if he wants to accept the prosecution’s facts as is.

“You’re also entitled to accept the prosecution’s case as it is, but so long as you understand that in doing that, pleading guilty to the current charges currently standing, you accept the prosecution facts,” Magistrate Saggers said.

“By entering your plea, you’re accepting the case against you.”

But Cowan pleaded guilty to driving U.I.L, and it was at the first available opportunity.

Cowan, representing himself, didn’t wish to say anything to the court, other than he’s a sawmill worker who is picked up to get to work.

The court heard he had previously faced courts for drug and low range drink driving in the past.

“It’s a significant high reading that you’ve pleaded guilty to,” Magistrate Saggers said.

Cowan had a conviction recorded as well as his $1500 fine and 16 month licence disqualification.

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