A Riverside man with a history of drink-driving has avoided jail for now after returning a breath test more than four times the legal limit.
Justin Michael Roberts, 54, fronted Launceston Magistrates Court on December 11 to learn his fate after pleading guilty to a charge of driving a motor vehicle while over the prescribed alcohol limit.
The matter had been held over from October 27 as there was some debate about the timing and quantity of Roberts' drinks.
The court heard Roberts' driving was reported to police by another road user about 7pm on the night of the offence.
When officers visited Roberts' home 30 minutes later, Roberts was unsteady on his feet, slurring his words and had bloodshot, glassy eyes.
A breath analysis test returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.209.
Roberts admitted to having two or three cans of mid-strength beer, three cans of full strength beer and one port.
Defence counsel Fran McCracken said Roberts only drank two cans of mid-strength beer that night and this was before he drove.
Ms McCracken said Roberts had four more drinks - the full-strength beer and the port - when he arrived home.
However magistrate Ken Stanton said without evidence to the contrary, such as a blood test, he had to pass a sentence on the assumption Roberts had been four times the legal limit when he drove.
Roberts had been convicted on drink-driving charges four times previously, the first in 1986 when he was a first-year driver.
This was followed by offences in 1991, 2000 and 2003.
The latest of these was a driving under the influence conviction, which led to Roberts spending time in prison.
Mr Stanton said another jail sentence was one of the options available to him as were a suspended sentence and a home detention order.
The magistrate said although it had been 20 years since Roberts' last offence, further punishment was warranted.
"(Imprisonment) was not designed to deter you for some time," Mr Stanton said.
"It was designed to deter you completely."
Mr Stanton convicted Roberts of the offence and sentenced him to three months in prison.
This was wholly suspended for three years, the maximum period possible.
Mr Stanton also sentenced Roberts to a 12-month community corrections order, including 91 hours of community service, and a 27-month driving disqualification.