An English nurse was travelling Australia and working in rural areas when he decided to drive home drunk from a King Island pub last month. Benjamin James Rockliffe, 31, appeared via telephone in the Burnie Magistrates Court on Wednesday, December 6, and pleaded guilty to a charge of drunk driving. Defence lawyer Scott Ashby told the court Rockliffe was "terribly ashamed" by his behaviour, had immediately engaged a lawyer, and was pleading guilty on his first appearance in court. Prosecutor Mitchell Sheehy told Magistrate Leanne Topfer that on Sunday, November 12, police officers observed Rockliffe's car reversing out of a car park on King Island before pulling over. Mr Sheehy said officers approached the car and asked Rockliffe to open the window, but he initially appeared to ignore them. The court heard that when he did wind down the window the officers could smell liquor, and asked Rockliffe if he had been drinking, which he denied. Rockliffe later returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.161, and Mr Ashby said his client did not recall denying having been drinking. Ms Topfer was told that Rockliffe had intended to walk the three kilometres home from the pub that night, and had even packed a bag to do so. Mr Ashby said, however, the man began walking and forgot the bag initially, before doubling back to retrieve it from his car, which was when he decided he would drive. The lawyer told the court his client was on a working holiday visa in Australia working as a nurse in rural and remote areas, such as King Island, and was currently working in rural South Australia. Mr Ashby was seeking the mandatory minimum penalty as Rockliffe's work was important and being without a licence would "disproportionately burden" him. He also said his remorse was evidenced by his early plea of guilty. "I'm sure you are very remorseful," Ms Topfer said. "As a nurse you would know better than most what happens when people drink drive and have an accident." Rockliffe was disqualified from driving for 12 months, his licence was cancelled and he was fined $975 and ordered to pay court costs of $95.