'Huge impact': Worker may have to leave country over visa
A GLADSTONE lawyer has told a courtroom her client was facing the very real situation of being kicked out of the country if his working visa was revoked.
Kim Hyunsuk came to Australia in May, 2015 on a working visa and has held employment since.
However, the decision to sleep in his car with the engine running after a night out drinking saw the man lose his licence in the Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to one count of being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence.
Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said the offending happened on July 29 along Yarroon St about 3.30am.
Police received a number of reports from passersby who saw Hyunsuk slumped over the wheel in the car with the engine running.
Mr Reece said the windows had begun to fog up.
Police tried to wake Hyunsuk by knocking on the window however, when this failed, the officers had to physically wake him.
He told police he had no recollection of getting into his car.
A blood alcohol content breath analysis test revealed the man had been drinking heavily prior, returning a reading of .170%.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said the man needed his licence to keep his employment, and if he was to lose his job, it was likely his visa would be also taken from him.
"And if that happens, he will have to leave Australia," Ms Ditchfield said.
She said on the night of the offending her client had consumed too much alcohol and was simply looking for a safe and warm place to sleep after a night out.
She said her client was unaware of the laws and did not know he couldn't sleep in the front seat of his car, with the engine running while drunk.
"The loss of his licence will have a huge impact," Ms Ditchfield said.
She said her client was a cleaning inspector and travelled multiple times throughout the day to different locations.
While unfortunate, Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho said by law, she had to impose a minimum licence disqualification.
Hyunsuk received a $750 fine and lost his licence for six months. A conviction was recorded.
"Hopefully your employer will make some arrangements for you during that six months," Ms Ho said.