St George man appears in court for the first time.  
St George man appears in court for the first time.  

‘You’ve hit the big time’: Magistrate shocked at man’s offence

A MAN with no criminal history appeared in the St George Magistrates Court , however the magistrate said he “hit the big time” with his first-ever offence.

James Charles Lasserre, 30, was caught by police driving under the influence at 8am on July 31.

Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court the defendant said he had been drinking throughout the night before, and returned a roadside breath test result of 0.0166 per cent.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Legal Service solicitor Michael Corbin told the court his client had been out drinking with group of friends and didn’t have accommodation in town so decided to return to his sisters.

“It’s a poor excuse for driving under these circumstances,” he said.

He stated the defendant is the carer of his seven-year-old niece so requires his licence to get her to and from school and other activities.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop told Lasserre that there are drink-driving laws in place for a reason.

“You decided to drive, when you clearly knew you shouldn’t have,” she said.

“There are reasons why we have drink-driving laws – you put the lives of others at risk.

“To your benefit, you haven’t got a previous history but this time you’ve hit the big time.

“Don’t go driving when intoxicated, use those two legs of yours and don’t get behind the wheel of your car.

“Even walking can be dangerous when drinking, have safe plans in place or modify your drinking habits.”

The magistrate fined Lasserre $700 and disqualified him from driving for a further six-months.

The conviction was not recorded.


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