A magistrate has warned a man who crashed his car into a fence in Sebastopol he could have killed his seven-year-old son.
Steve Stanko, 39, pleaded guilty to two charges including careless driving and drink driving at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac told the court Stanko was speeding on Hill Street and driving erratically on Grant Street in Sebastopol just after 3.30pm on June 18 last year.
Stanko then lost control and crashed into the fence of a Grant Street property with his seven-year-old son in the car.
Senior Constable Repac said a breath test at the crash site showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.118 and 0.105.
Stanko told police he had 'hit the gas' too hard before crashing into the fence. He also said had drunk three Wild Turkey cans between 12pm and 2pm that day at home.
Defence lawyer Melanie Rudolphus said Stanko had turned to alcohol to deal with grief after the death of his partner and then lost his job as a concreter when his licence was suspended after the crash.
Magistrate Noreen Toohey said Stanko had a dangerous combination of prior convictions, including speeding, dangerous driving, driving while suspended, driving an unregistered vehicle, drink driving and breaking interlock conditions.
"You cannot drink and drive or speed on our roads without expecting to be the fatality or cause of the fatality," she said.
"I have absolutely no doubt the tragic death of your partner has had a significant impact on you, but you have a long history of similar offending," she said.
"It is really fortunate you haven't been killed and you haven't killed someone else with your history. All of the things in your history are pointers to fatalities."
In her sentencing remarks, Ms Toohey said she considered Stanko a high risk but also took into account his guilty plea as a sign of remorse.
The court heard Stanko had paid for the damage caused in the crash, had been linked in with mental health services, has had appointments with a psychologist and psychiatrist and participated in equine therapy with his son.
"Since he had the accident he has not had alcohol. It is something he has taken very seriously because he could have lost his son on that day," Ms Rudolphus said.
Stanko was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order with a requirement he be assessed and treated for mental health issues and alcohol abuse.