COURT: Local umpire falls prey to Brigalow static RBT site. Pic: Scott Powick
COURT: Local umpire falls prey to Brigalow static RBT site. Pic: Scott Powick

Chinchilla footy umpire falls prey to Brigalow static RBT site

CHINCHILLA restaurant manager and footy umpire Rishabh Chhabra lost his licence after blowing above zero at the Brigalow static RBT site along the Warrego Highway.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Derek Brady said Chhabra was pulled over at the RBT site on Saturday, August 29 as part of the Chinchilla police Road Safety Week operation.

“He had admitted that he had been drinking the previous evening until midnight, he was intercepted around 6.30-7am,” he said.

“He returned an analysis reading of 0.025, a very low reading but he is on a provisional licence.”

Sgt Brady noted that Chhabra had no history of drink drinking, or any other criminal history.

Chhabra told Magistrate Roger Stark that his life would be impacted by a loss of licence as he used it routinely for work and his umpiring duties across the state.

“My dad owns an Indian restaurant down town, so I work there every day as a (manager), they also own two restaurants in Brisbane which I have to travel to when there is no staff.

“Plus I’m an AFL umpire, from Chinchilla all the way up to Brisbane, I do state championships plus normal seasons... every weekend.”

Chhabra said he had be drinking at a friend’s farewell Friday night, and thought he was okay to drive the next day.

“When I woke up the next morning I felt absolutely fine, sober, and obviously my assumption wasn’t right to what police officers had.”

Magistrate Stark told Chhabra, “unfortunately my hand are tied in respects to the driver's licence.”

“I will take into account your early plea of guilty… I will reduce the penalty as far as I’m able,” Mr Stark said.

“It’s unfortunate that you have come up against mandatory sentencing… you must lose your licence for at least three months – I have no discretion in that.”

Chhabra pleaded guilty to driving on a provision licence over the zero alcohol limit and was fined $350, and disqualified from driving for three months.

Mr Stark said he would give Chhabra the benefit of not recording a conviction and said, “the lesson learnt here, is to adopt a much larger safety margin.”

Mr Stark asked Chhabra to hand his licence to Sgt Brady before exiting the courtroom.