A Preston man was sent to jail after being caught drink-driving and driving while disqualified.
A Preston man was sent to jail after being caught drink-driving and driving while disqualified.

‘Quickest way to jail’: Whitsunday man put behind bars

A PRESTON man with an "appalling criminal history" has been jailed after he pulled over to have a cigarette on a quiet road and police nabbed him for disqualified driving.

Shannon Dryburgh, who was on parole at the time, also blew more than twice the legal limit when he was caught by police in August.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors explained the facts of the case to Proserpine Magistrates Court, saying Dryburgh had stopped in the middle of Penhallurick Esplanade in a blind spot at Conway Beach and smelled of alcohol.

Sgt Myors said Dryburgh was stumbling and struggling to stand up when he got out of the car and blew a reading of 0.113 per cent, but police checks also revealed his licence was disqualified.

He pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court to one count each of drink-driving and disqualified driving.

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Lawyer Elizabeth Smith told the court on the night of the offences, Dryburgh's fiance got into a scrap with another woman and was allegedly assaulted at the pub so they decided to leave.

The 47-year-old man's partner was behind the wheel, but then she started to vomit and they were worried she may have been concussed so Dryburgh decided to drive.

Ms Smith said Dryburgh pulled up to have a cigarette and that's when the police caught him.

"He had not intended to drive that night … his partner usually does all the driving," Ms Smith said.

"He was due to get his licence back in December this year."

Ms Smith said Dryburgh had been on parole since May this year and while he previously had an addiction to methylamphetamine, he had now been without drugs for about 10 months.

"He has been attending parole visits as required and he had been completing all programs," she said.

"He instructs drinking is not a problem for him but since this he has not touched a drop.

"It obviously has affected his capacity to make good decisions."

Ms Smith asked Magistrate James Morton to consider giving Dryburgh a suspended jail sentence, but Mr Morton said the Preston man had put himself in that position.

A Preston man has been sent to jail after being caught driving while disqualified.
A Preston man has been sent to jail after being caught driving while disqualified.

"A sentence must send a loud message to him and to other people who are going to conduct themselves (this way) and defy a court order," Mr Morton said.

"The quickest way to jail in Queensland is disqualified driving and drink-driving."

Mr Morton said Dryburgh had an "appalling criminal history and traffic history" with other court sentences for disqualified driving.

"You were at a licensed premises … (your partner) decided to drive and at some stage you took over the driving knowing full well you're not to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, even while you're sober," he said.

"You stopped in the middle of the road to have a cigarette and fortunately for the community the police were there."

Dryburgh was sentenced to a total of three months' jail and disqualified from driving for four years.

Mr Morton ordered that he be immediately eligible for parole.


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