Road menace jailed, kids lose dad

A REPEAT drink driver has been sent to jail despite telling the Grafton Local Court he needed to remain free to look after his ‘three beautiful children’.

Jason Laurie appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Kim Pogson yesterday on charges of driving with a high range prescribed concentration of alcohol in his blood (PCA) and being an unaccompanied learner driver.

Mr Pogson asked Laurie why he kept drinking and driving.

“I don’t know, it must be a bit of a habit,” Laurie said.

Mr Pogson: “It is the fourth time you have been before the courts for high range drink driving – in 1999, ’97, 2007 and again today.

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t send you to jail today.”

Laurie: “I have three beautiful kids I need to look after.”

But Mr Pogson said if he did not send Laurie to jail and he continued to drive, it would be other parents who needed to be careful because he was a potential killer.

“You are an absolute menace on the road,” he said.

He jailed Laurie for nine months with a six month non-parole period, disqualified him from driving for three years and fined him $300, with $76 court costs for driving while unaccompanied.

Laurie was not the only drink driver jailed yesterday.

Colin Peter Lee was jailed for six months for his seventh drink driving offence since 1979.

Solicitor Joe Fahey said Lee was attempting to address an alcohol addiction by participating in a rehabilitation program.

But Mr Pogson said he only appeared interested in addressing his drinking when faced with a jail term. He was also ordered to pay $6000 in compensation for a vehicle damaged when Lee crashed.

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