Horsham's Darren Klinge fined for driving

A TRIP to the shops to get toilet paper nearly landed a Horsham man in jail, a court has heard.

Darren Michael Klinge, 35, appeared in Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

The court heard police observed Klinge driving south on Wawunna Road, Horsham about 3pm on April 17 and stopped him for a routine check.

Police found that Klinge had a cancelled probationary driver’s licence. 

His licence had been cancelled in January for drink-driving.

Klinge told police he wasn’t aware his licence was cancelled, but the police officer who intercepted him was the same officer that intercepted him for drink-driving in January and explained to him at the time that his licence would be cancelled.

In another incident, on April 26, Klinge was driving east on Railway Avenue, Horsham when he was again intercepted by police.

His driver’s licence was still cancelled.

He told police he knew he wasn’t allowed to drive but had to go to the shops.

Defence solicitor Denis O’Brien said on April 16, Klinge had to urgently get to the shops to buy toilet paper. Magistrate Ronald Saines said the charges were punishable by imprisonment.

“Within six months, you have been caught drinking driving and driving while disqualified twice,” he said.

“You have no lawful need to drive and unless you learn to stay out of a vehicle, you will be forever in and out of magistrate’s courts of Victoria.”

Mr Saines said Klinge originally said he didn’t know he was disqualified from driving.

“But your excuse was quickly debunked by police,” he said. “Then on the second occasion, you said you needed to drive, but you have no entitlement to do so.”

Mr Saines said he took into account Klinge’s early guilty plea. Klinge was convicted and fined $1750 and his driver’s licence was further cancelled and disqualified for another three months.