A Beaufort man who was caught drink-driving for the third time has been spared jail after a judge ruled the community benefited more from his employment.
Graeme Quinlan, 48, was driving while disqualified last year when he recorded a high blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.165.
An employee of the Ararat abattoir, he told police he was drink-driving because he had been evicted from the caravan park where he had been living.
It was Quinlan’s third drink-driving offence above 0.1 in five years.
He was convicted and sentenced at the Stawell Magistrates Court in April to four months in jail, placed on an 18-month community corrections order, fined and disqualified from driving for 32 months.
But Quinlan was spared jail and put on a two-year CCO at the County Court in Ballarat on Wednesday.
Judge Duncan Allen said the alcoholic was lucky he had had not killed or seriously injured someone on our roads, but Quinlan had taken steps to rehabilitate.
The court was told he had already completed six counselling sessions since April, had been on bail without further offending, was working full-time and had stable accommodation.
Defence lawyer Scott Belcher submitted to the court his client’s prison sentence should be removed.
Judge Allen agreed, saying there was more benefit for the community if Quinlan stayed employed and continued to treat his alcoholism.
“Well done. You have an excellent work history,” Judge Allen said.
Quinlan’s two-year community corrections order includes treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol abuse.
He was fined $1000, lost his licence for 32 months and will require an interlock device for four years when he is re-licensed.
Quinlan pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving while disqualified in April.