A SOFT-DRINK craving has landed an L-plate driver with a hefty fine after he was caught driving unaccompanied.
Christopher Thomas, 34, was driving a blue Holden utility in Myers Flat on April 17 this year when police pulled him over for a routine licence check.
Inquiries showed Thomas held a learner's permit, but did not have an experienced driver with him in the car and had not displayed his L-plates.
The Myers Flat man told police he was going to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola from a nearby hotel but did not have anyone around to accompany him.
The court was told Thomas had a long history of driving offences and had previously served time in prison for driving while disqualified.
It heard Thomas' licence was last suspended in 2010 when a court ordered him off the road for 28 months for drink-driving.
"I just never cared when I was young," Thomas told the court.
He said he intended to obtain his probationary licence as soon as he could gather enough funds and find an experienced driver to help him.
Thomas pleaded guilty in Bendigo Magistrates Court to one count each of driving without a supervising driver and not displaying L-plates.
Magistrate David Faram fined Thomas $750, but said he would make no order against his licence, telling the man it was time to "step up to the plate".
"I'm going to give you a chance," Mr Faram said.
"This is a silly offence and you shouldn't have done it.
"What I want you to do is get your licence ... drive lawfully and value it."