Court's road rage - Magistrate warns drink drivers: you will be jailed

TAMWORTH’S new magistrate has put locals on notice, warning he will send drink drivers to jail.

Magistrate Michael Holmes made the comments in his first week in Tamworth Local Court, telling offenders there were no second chances.

“Ninety per cent of the work in this court is alcohol-related,” he said warning there were consequences for those that flout the laws.

In the case against James Terbeeke, Magistrate Holmes said he was a risk to the community.

“You’ve got an appalling record,” he told the court.

“You’re knocking yourself around ... you’re going to kill yourself.”

Despite having other drink driving offences against his name, Terbeeke pleaded guilty to low range PCA – an offence which doesn’t carry a jail term.

“If I could I would, but I can’t,” Magistrate Holmes said of sending him to jail citing the laws.

ABIDE BY THE LAW: Drink drivers have been warned they will cop a jail sentence if caught.

ABIDE BY THE LAW: Drink drivers have been warned they will cop a jail sentence if caught.

He was fined and ordered off the road for 12 months.

Magistrate Holmes was also scathing of Benjamin John Thompson, who got behind the wheel mid-range during the country music festival in January

“He’s putting more people at risk,” he said of the increased traffic on local roads.

“Your behaviour is creating an absolute menace to the community.”

The court heard Thompson had several PCA offences on his record but had already spent time in custody before he suffered a number of personal tragedies.

“It’s an appalling record, it’s appalling,” Magistrate Holmes said.

“You’ve got to get your life in order.”

Thompson was slapp-ed with a 12 month suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for three years.

In the case of Vathanarajan Sivaguru, Magistrate Holmes said no matter what the circumstances were, everyone had to follow the road rules. 

“You must, and I emphasise the word must, abide by the laws of this country,” he said.

Sivaguru was stopped in the early hours of April 26 on Marius St before he recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.143 – almost three times the legal limit.

“When you get a licence in this state there is an absolute zero tolerance to drink driving,” Magistrate Holmes said.

“If you had a reading slightly higher you would be going to jail.”

Sivaguru was convicted and fined $1500 and disqualified from driving for 12 months, as well as placed on a good behaviour bond to be supervised by authorities.

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