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Court frustrated at endless string of drink drivers

GRAFTON Local Court magistrate Robyn Denes' frustration with drink drivers continued when she faced a lengthy list on Monday.

As she prepared to deal with another low range PCA matter, Ms Denes she wondered aloud what will happen in the future if a suggestion from the Royal College of Surgeons to reduce the legal limit to .02 and ultimately zero, came into effect.

"The number of people I have to deal with now is high enough," she said.

Over the years Ms Denes, whose circuit covers a number of North Coast cities and towns, has commented on the prevalence of drink driving in the community.

Faced with sentencing a Clarence Valley tradesman who was caught low range drinking driving on Boxing Day, Ms Denes took the slightly unusual step of making him stay in court while she sentenced other drink drivers.

"I want you to see the problems this causes and the prevalence of this in the community," she said.

"And think about how much you need your licence."

He didn't have to wait long as 65-year-old Grafton man Kevin John Hick faced the court on a high range PCA charge.

The court heard police had been alerted to Hick's manner of driving and caught up with him in time to see his Isuzu truck mount a kerb near the Caltex Service Station in Prince St, Grafton.

Police said he emerged from the car unsteady on his feet, unaware he was dropping stuff from his wallet. They said when they introduced themselves, Hick was having trouble staying upright.

After a positive breath test, his breath analysis at the station revealed a level of .201, more than four times the legal limit.

Magistrate Denes imposed a good behaviour bond for two years and disqualified him from driving for nine months plus two years driving with an alcohol interlock device fitted to his car.

Ms Denes formally convicted the tradesman, but did not impose a penalty on him.



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