Licence request deferred for serial drink-driver 

An Elmore man with 10 prior convictions for drink-driving – including one reading nearly seven times the legal limit – has had his application for a driver’s licence deferred after the court heard he still has a drinking problem.

Anthony Griffiths-Smith, 52, made the application in the Bendigo Magistrates Court last week.

It was opposed by prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Dave Somerton because of the breadth of the pensioner’s drink-driving history. Leading Senior Constable Somerton listed four incidents of drink-driving in Victoria in 1978, ’88, ’91 and ’92.

He said Griffiths-Smith then moved to Queensland where he had drink-driving convictions in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

These incidents included a day where Griffiths-Smith was caught with a blood alcohol content of 0.330, was released and was then caught driving again with a reading of 0.337 a short time later.

After hearing the list of priors, Magistrate Tom Hassard said he could not grant the application.

“I don’t know if I need to go any further with that terrible repertoire of offending,” he said.

Mr Hassard said a court staff member had noted Griffiths-Smith was under the influence of alcohol when he made his application some weeks ago.

Leading Senior Constable Somerton said Griffiths-Smith had also been drinking when police visited him for an interview at 10.30am.

Griffiths-Smith, representing himself, admitted he still had drinking problems.

Mr Hassard said he would need to get a lawyer if his application was to have any chance of being successful.

“This case is unusual in the number of offences,” he said. “It would be difficult to achieve the result you are looking for.”

Mr Hassard adjourned the application to November 16 so Griffiths-Smith could seek legal advice.