Fijian drink-driver's 'cultural mistake'

A FIJIAN national caught drink-driving told police he got behind the wheel to buy more beer.

Jone Lesumainaivalu, 25, of Ward Street, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to drink-driving charges.

The court heard Lesumainaivalu gave police a high blood-alcohol reading of .154 after he was seen driving erratically on Banyan Street on May 25 this year. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nathan Brown said the accused had been at a party, then arrived home before leaving again to find more alcohol. He said Lesumainaivalu was unlicensed in both Australia and Fiji.

Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly said his client was seeking permanent residency in Australia to join his wife and twins. 

He said his client knew drink-driving was culturally unacceptable in both countries. 

“He said that it’s something that he now recognises at the time was the wrong thing,” Mr Farrelly said.

Magistrate Andrew Capell convicted Lesumainaivalu and disqualified him from driving for 15 months. He was also fined $750.

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