A WARRNAMBOOL magistrate says young people continue to ignore the dangers of drink-driving.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said most drink-drivers were remorseful once they had sobered up but still weren’t heeding the warnings.
His comments came while sentencing two young men who were three times over the legal limit when they decided to drive after nights out in Warrnambool.
Adam Britten, 23, of Kerr Street, Mortlake, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to exceeding the prescribed blood-alcohol level.
The court heard that on August 31 at 3.42am Britten was driving on Fairy Street after a night out. He was intercepted by police and later returned a reading of .171.
Britten, who represented himself, said he had intended to drive home to Mortlake and that, looking back, it was a pretty stupid thing to do.
He said initially he felt that he was right to drive but once he reversed out he asked his friend to drive, which he agreed to.
Britten drove about 40 metres with the intention of swapping drivers before he was caught by police.
Mr Klestadt said he often sat in the Coroners Court and Britten was just like a lot of people who ended up on a mortuary slab.
He said the road to Mortlake was not the best with lots of trees and Britten was lucky he hadn’t wrapped himself around one.
“Everyone has to know if you take the risk or make a mistake you will pay the price,” he said.
Daniel O’Neill, 18, of Archibald Street, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty to exceeding the prescribed blood-alcohol level.
On Sunday, August 11 at 3.07am O’Neill, a P-plater, was heading west on Merri Street after attending a nightclub.
He was intercepted by police and returned a blood-alcohol reading of .153. O’Neill also represented himself in court and said it was a stupid decision for which he’d lost his building apprenticeship.
At the time he’d had his licence for five months.
Mr Klestadt said it took very little to see that this incident could have resulted in tragedy.
He said it was all very well to be remorseful after he had sobered up, but there didn’t seem to be a way to make people stop making the decision to drive in the first place.
Britten and O’Neill were convicted and fined $650 and and were disqualified from driving for 17 and 15 months respectively.