A Northern Rivers man has been sentenced over repeated drink-driving and other offences.
A Northern Rivers man has been sentenced over repeated drink-driving and other offences. Trevor Veale

'Offence of selfishness': man sentenced over repeated DUIs

A P-PLATER who was caught drink-driving, then breaching an AVO, has been suspended.

The Northern Rivers man faced Lismore Local Court for sentencing on Tuesday over high-range drink-driving, driving while his licence was suspended and breaching an apprehended domestic violence order.

In committing those offences, he had also breached a good behaviour bond from 2017 for mid-range drink-driving.

The man was stopped by police in the early hours of May 5.

After being arrested and processed for high-range drink-driving, he was later caught driving while suspended and breaching an AVO, the court heard.

The man's solicitor, Thomas Trembath, told the court his client was "highly regarded" although he had been on a good behaviour bond for a "prior driving matter" at the time.

"He's completed the traffic offenders program, he's sold the car... he's done everything since being charged to make amends and show contrition to the court in relation to these matters," Mr Trembath said.

"He's going to lose his licence and it's going to have a significant impact on him."

Mr Trembath told the court his client was also trying to mend a difficult family situation.

Magistrate David Heilpern said man's offences were serious enough that a term of imprisonment would be appropriate.

But he said he would deal with the matter by way of an intensive corrections order, effectively a jail term to be served within the community.

The court heard the man's AVO breached involved no violence, only approached a home he was prohibited from attending.

He said such offences were those where the offender felt their perceived needs were "more important than the rest of the community's right to be safe from drink-drivers".

"Drink-driving is an offence of selfishness," Mr Heilpern said.

"I can see that you do an enormous degree of good in the community.

"All of that's terrific but you won't be remembered for that if you're the person who kills or seriously injures somebody as a result of drink-driving."

He warned the man, who'd created a "significant trust deficit" it was clear alcohol was a significant factor in his offending.

"If you weren't drinking, you wouldn't have committed any of these offences," Mr Heilpern said.

"You're either going to stop now or you're going to kill someone or you're going to end up in jail."

He sentenced the man to a nine month ICO and an 18 month community corrections order and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.



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