Ninth conviction

A ST LEONARDS man will spend his 70th birthday in jail after being convicted of drink-driving for the ninth time.

Reginald Peter Sullivan pleaded guilty to two drink-driving charges after being caught with a blood-alcohol level of 0.095.

He was nabbed during a random breath test last August at Mowbray.

At the time Sullivan told police that he'd been driving to a friend's house and had drunk heavily the day before.

Yesterday Launceston magistrate Simon Brown said the defendant had no excuse whatsoever to be driving on the day.

Sullivan's most recent drink-driving conviction was in 2009, when he received ``almost inexplicably'' a $430 fine and six months' disqualification.

Mr Brown said the penalty was so lenient that the court may not have been aware of his prior offences.

Sullivan's first drink-driving conviction was in 1982 when he got behind the wheel almost three times over the limit.

``Repeat offending . . . is serious and Parliament is clearly sending that message,'' Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said earlier penalties, including a custodial sentence and a suspended prison term, had failed to deter Sullivan.

He sentenced Sullivan to three months' jail and disqualified him from driving for two years on release.

Family members appeared shocked as Sullivan was led away.

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