Man fled police in RBT panic

A COURT has heard how a learner driver ran from police before being detained with the help of members of the public.

Shane Thomas Finnigan pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday to one count of driving over the middle alcohol limit.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court police were doing random breath testing in Bourbong St on August 9.

At 12.15am police saw a ute quickly pull into a carpark outside the Metro Hotel.

They then saw a man, who was later identified as Finnigan, get out of the ute and walk away.

Police followed, telling Finnigan to stop before he started running.

He was then apprehended outside St Joseph's School on the corner of Woondooma and Barolin St.

Police walked Finnigan back to his car where he initially denied being the driver.

Sgt Burgess said Finnigan told police he had consumed between six and seven schooners.

A breath test later returned a reading of 0.103.

Sgt Burgess said the offence "wasn't your usual RBT".

Finnigan, who represented himself in court, said he'd made a "stupid mistake" and that he picked when he saw police.

Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account Finnigan's plea of guilty came at an early opportunity.

Mr Moloney also took into account Finnigan's personal circumstances including the fact he hadn't seen his son since March because of Covid border closures.

He also took into account Finnigan was a learner driver.

"You're lucky you're not charged with a whole series of other offences," he said.

Finnigan was fined $650 and was disqualified from holding a licence for five months.

A conviction was recorded.