Ballarat police permanently impound hoon's vehicle

A PROBATIONARY driver is on the lookout for a new set of wheels after his late model Holden Commodore ute was permanently impounded yesterday.

Ballarat Highway Patrol members impounded the 21-year-old man’s car for the third and final time yesterday morning, after he was caught by police doing burnouts late last year.

The Ballarat man fronted the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday, where it was ordered he permanently forfeit his car.

In a double whammy for police, a suspended driver was also caught at the scene of the impoundment about 8.50am, after he drove past police while his licence was suspended.

Acting quickly, police intercepted the vehicle near the Ballarat police station and found the driver had a suspended licence.

Anti-hoon laws were first introduced in 2006, before they became even harsher in 2011.

Now, if a person is found guilty of three hoon-related offences inside three years, their vehicle can be permanently forfeited by the court.

The driver of the impounded car had twice previously had his car impounded before committing his latest offence.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Travis Johnston said it was somewhat unusual for cars to be permanently impounded, although the amount of repeat offenders continued to rise.

Acting Sergeant Johnston said police were gradually starting to see motorists having their cars impounded on multiple occasions.

“It’s not a matter of if you will get caught, but when,” he said.

“We’re getting to a point where we’re starting to see these recidivist offenders come to our attention more than once since the government introduced the new laws.

“Drivers aren’t listening to the message that it is inevitable they will be caught, which we saw.”

In addition to the seizure of a vehicle, the courts can impose a fine in excess of $28,000 and/or a period of imprisonment of up to two years, if a person is found guilty of hoon driving.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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