Drunk driving without a license puts horse trainer in hot water | The Stawell Times-News

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A horse trainer has learned a costly lesson after he was caught drunk driving without a license while transporting horses. Peter Cunningham, 40, of Koo Wee Rup, appeared at Stawell Magistrates’ Court via video link on Tuesday January 11, where he pleaded guilty to driving without a license and driving while intoxicated. A police prosecutor said on Sunday July 25, 2021 that Cunningham was driving a blue ute towing a horse float along Stawell-Warracknabeal Road, Glenorchy. At 2:46 p.m., a police officer detected that Cunningham’s speed was 111 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. When confronted by police, Cunningham was unable to produce a license and admitted that he had never held a full licence. A preliminary breath test was positive and Cunningham went to Stawell Police Station for a second test. READ MORE: At 3.25pm, Cunningham’s second test recorded a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05%. The prosecution said in an interview with police, Cunningham said he had ‘just been drinking beer from normal corks’ half an hour before driving and had not realized he was driving too much quick. “If you don’t speed up, you won’t be stopped,” Cunningham told police in the interview. Since arriving in Australia from New Zealand in 2015, Cunningham had only held a New South Wales learner’s license which expired in 2016. Cunningham’s solicitor, Ashley Daly, has said that although his client acknowledged that there was no justification for his actions, it was a “split of a second” and “spontaneous” decision. Ms Daly said Cunningham, a horse trainer by trade, felt compelled to drive for professional reasons, to ensure the horses were in the right place the next day. The defense attorney argued that Cunningham had lost respect within the horse racing community and that further punishment was not warranted. Magistrate Michael McNamara fined Cunningham $1,000 and banned him from driving for six months. While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you’re up to date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.



Milton S. Rodgers