CHARGED: Matthew Colin Higgins pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence and one charge of driving without a license as a repeat offender.
CHARGED: Matthew Colin Higgins pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence and one charge of driving without a license as a repeat offender.

Man without valid licence since 2000 blows 4x limit

THE last time this Roma father had a licence Britney Spears' Oops!… I did it again was topping the charts, Nikki Webster was performing at the Sydney Olympics, Jen and Brad were still together and people were still playing snake on their Nokia 3310s.

Matthew Colin Higgins fronted Roma Magistrates Court on Tuesday, facing one charge of driving under the influence and one charge of driving without a license as a repeat offender.

Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court Roma police were doing patrols on November 9 at 5.20pm when they intercepted Higgins in his driveway on Holland St.

The court heard that the single father of six who hails from Cunnamulla immediately stated to police "he had no business driving because his licence had expired and he had been drinking."

Checks revealed his licence was expired as of May 13, 2000.

He admitted to police he had been drinking VB full strength beer that day, but as they continued to ask him questions he became uncooperative and argumentative.

Higgins was then breathalysed, returning a blood-alcohol reading of 0.226.

The defendant's lawyer, L Reid told the court that Higgins had been drinking with a friend and his friend drove them both to their place, where they continued drinking.

The court heard that there was a confrontation between the people in the house, and as Higgins had a suspended sentence for common assault, he panicked.

"He acknowledges it was a stupid thing to do because his house is just around the corner and he could have walked," said Ms Reid.

Higgins pleaded guilty to both charges.

Magistrate Cridland said he needed to take into account Higgin's previous criminal history and the suspended sentence that was hanging over his head.

He convicted Higgins, fined him $1,800 and disqualified him from driving for 15 months for the driving under the influence and a further three months for driving unlicensed.

He also extended his suspended sentence from 12 to 15 months.

"With your history, there is a real possibility of going to jail next time," Mr Cridland said.


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