$1600 fine for repeat offender

A YOUNG Loganholme man started 2009 on a bad note when he was caught drink-driving only minutes before the new year.

Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday heard that Leevi Michael Nivala had sped along the Pacific Highway at 30km/h over the speed limit as he rushed to Coolangatta from Murwillumbah at 11.55pm (DST).

Police noticed the white Holden Commodore Ute driving fast along the road at Chinderah and clocked it travelling at 140km/h on the 110km/h section of highway.

They stopped Nivala and he failed to produce a licence, saying he was in his friend's car and that his licence was at home.

The 20-year-old had been drinking all afternoon and knew he would fail a breath test.

“I'm gunner (sic) be over,” he told police.

He was arrested and taken to the Tweed Heads Police Station where he blew .110 per cent blood alcohol concentration.

At court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving, driving unlicenced and speeding by less than or equal to 30km/h.

Magistrate Nick Reimer said the facts of the case were “hair-raising” and that Nivala had a “shocking” record.

Mr Reimer disqualified Nivala from driving for two years and slapped him with $1669 in total for fines and court costs.

Nivala had drink-driving convictions from 2007 and 2008, plus numerous other traffic infringements and his last disqualification only ended on November 15.

He said he had forgotten to renew his licence after the disqualification ended, which was why he was driving unlicenced.

In their evidence tendered to the court, police said Nivala showed no remorse for his actions and even found it funny when his blood alcohol concentration was exactly the same as the last time he was caught.

Nivala said he drank five to six stubbies of beer, along with a number of Pulse vodka drinks between 1pm and 9.30pm on December 31.

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