HAVING paid his fine and done his time for a drink driving offence, City of Greater Bendigo councillor Mark Weragoda could be back behind the wheel after his application to get his licence back was granted this week.
Cr Weragoda, 56,appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Monday to apply to be eligible to get his licence back after serving 12months off the road.
He appeared in the witness stand before Magistrate John Murphy.
Having paid off a $627 fine and completed his 12 month licence suspension, Mr Murphy granted Cr Weragoda’s application.
He also avoided having a drink driving interlock deviceinstalled as it was his first offence.
Police caught Cr Weragoda behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol reading of 0.125–two-and-a-half times the limit–at a random breath testing unit on Townsend Street on Friday, March 6, last year.
The Eppalock Ward councillor had to go to court to apply to be eligible for his licencebecause the reading was greater then 0.10.
Police recorded hisreadingshortly after his wife, Leonie Weragoda, 54, was also caught drink driving.
She recorded a reading of 0.098 after she was pulled over by police.
Mrs Weragoda is listed to appear in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on April 12 for a contest mention.
She had her licence suspended for six months and was fined $443.
The couple had earlier attended the Bendigo International Madison event, held on the Labour Day long weekend.
They were waiting for a taxi after Mrs Weragoda was caught drink driving.CrWeragoda decided to drive their car back to their house.
He was heavily criticised by other councillors and members of the community for the offence, and subsequent denial to the media in Bendigo.
When questioned by multiple media outlets, including theBendigo Advertiser, Cr Weragoda denied he was the councillor behind the offence.
Fellow Eppalock Ward councillor Helen Leach referred him to a Councillor Code of Conduct panel just over two weeks after the offence. The panel considered both the drink driving incident and the dishonesty afterwards.
Following the conduct hearing, Cr Weragoda was placed on one month of enforced leave for the month of November.
The panel found the council’s description of his conduct as a“personal issue”was incorrect, as he had attended the Madison in an official capacity. They were also heavily critical of his denial.
Cr Weragoda was contacted for comment.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.