A MAGISTRATE has told a man, who he described as “testing the system”, the courts were not only there to punish offenders, but also to deter those who considered flouting the law.
When sentencing 46-year-old Ballarat man Reginald Caddick for drink-driving, magistrate Gregory Robinson said it added “grist to the mill” of society’s perception of the Victorian justice system when people repeatedly came back before the courts.
“A lot of people in the community think the courts are soft,” he said.
“(Caddick) seems to be testing the system when coming back for the second time.”
The Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday heard Caddick blew 0.078 after being intercepted by police on February 17.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Pepe Brown told the court Caddick, who had a cancelled licence at the time, had been drinking at a Ballarat pub over a three-hour period.
Caddick told police he had five pots of beer which he alternated with glasses of water and thought he would be okay to drive.
The man’s lawyer told the court his client understood although there was no bad driving, he was putting people at risk.
He said Caddick had a friend drive the car to the pub, but when it came time to leave, his friend had already gone and he did not want to leave his car there overnight.
He added Caddick had turned to drink after a relationship breakdown in 2014.
He told the court it came as a shock to know he faced jail if he appeared before the court again on similar charges.
“He knows he is on his last chance,” he said.
Magistrate Robinson told Caddick he should be someone that knows he can’t drive if the courts have previously cancelled his licence.
“The first time is bad. The second time is inexcusable,” he said.
“You have thumbed your nose at the court. We have to show people there are consequences for this type of offending.”
He said the courts were not only there to punish people like him who broke the law, but also deter people from drink driving.
“Given this is the second time, you have moved into the next category of sentencing,” he said.
Caddick was disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to complete 75 hours of community work during a 12-month community corrections order.
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