Drink-driving charges number 17 and 18 lead Warrnambool man to prison

A MAN with a shocking history of drink-driving is behind bars after being caught twice for the same offence in the one night.

Brett Maxwell Hicks, 47, of Wanstead Street, Warrnambool, yesterday pleaded guilty to two charges of drink-driving and unlicensed driving when he appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court. He had 16 prior convictions for drink-driving.

The court heard that on August 18 last year at 10.05pm Hicks was pulled over by police in Murray Street, Colac, after reports he had been driving erratically. Hicks was unlicensed and had a blood-alcohol reading of .184. 

When interviewed by police he made full admissions and his reason for the offence was “cause I can”.

About three hours later at 1.05am Hicks was intercepted by police driving on the Princes Highway at Stonyford.

When breath tested he had a blood-alcohol reading of .147 and when interviewed by police was abusive and unco-operative.

The court heard Hicks had 16 prior charges for drink-driving and 25 charges for driving while disqualified.

Defence counsel Amanda Chambers said it was fair to say Hicks was expecting another jail term, the only question was how long.

She said alcohol rehabilitation had been looked at as an option but there were no places available for five months. She said Hicks was an alcoholic and had been diagnosed with an acquired brain injury due to his drinking.

He had an abusive childhood and was supported in court by family and a friend.

Ms Chambers said Hicks had chosen to drive after learning his son had been abused and had gone to confront the person involved.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said Hicks had an extensive history associated with alcohol abuse. 

Mr Mellas said on this occasion Hicks was in an emotional state and placed himself and others at risk.

He said he had no doubt Hicks would have been read the riot act and then he was out the front door of the police station behind the wheel again.

He said when Hicks was released he needed to make a decision about how he would deal with his alcohol problem, although he was pessimistic there would be changes.

Hicks was jailed for four months and disqualified from driving for four years.

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