An Oak Flats man who registered a blood-alcohol reading of 0.207 has been jailed after racking up his fourth high-range drink-driving offence.
Richard Stephen Hewson was ordered to serve a minimum four months behind bars yesterday after fronting court for the latest in a string of serious drink-driving offences dating back more than a decade. Jailing the serial drink-driver for 12 months yesterday and disqualifying him from driving for three years, Magistrate Les Mabbutt told Wollongong Local Court that Hewson had a shocking record and had shown a total disregard for other motorists.
"There is a need to protect the community ... this is a public safety offence," he said. "[The court has to look at the] safety of the community when a person does not stop drinking and driving - what will it take to stop you?"
Hewson's most recent offence came on February 26 when he was spotted by police as he drove through Windang about 1am, a statement before the court said.
When the 37-year-old noticed officers near the Windang Road intersection, he reversed into a driveway, and was immediately stopped for a random breath test.
His 0.207 reading was more than four times the legal alcohol limit, the court was told.
Defence solicitor Justine Hall conceded Hewson, who pleaded guilty to high-range drink-driving, did not have a good record, notching up multiple high-range offences over the past 13 years.
Ms Hall told the court her client had a significant need for rehabilitation and had undertaken a 28-day program to address his alcohol abuse.
Arguing for an alternative to jail, Ms Hall said Hewson had just embarked on a road to rehabilitation and was remorseful.
Mr Mabbutt sentenced Hewson to an overall 12-month prison term and disqualified him from driving for three years.