A magistrate has said police should charge people who crash while drunk with more serious offences than careless driving.
Magistrate John Murphy made the comments while presiding over the matter of a man who pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Thursday to exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol and careless driving.
The court heard Mitchell Roberts, 26, began drinking with friends about 2pm on December 22 last year.
About 4pm they purchased spirits, and about 5pm attended a party at Kangaroo Flat, where Roberts consumed alcohol through a beer bong.
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Later that night, about 9pm, Roberts and a passenger drove towards Big Hill, in an area with a speed limit of 100 km/h.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Paul Bush said Roberts began driving carelessly, entering bends at an unsuitable speed.
A blood sample revealed his blood alcohol level was 0.159.
Roberts told police, "I don't remember driving a car that night".
He had no prior convictions.
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Mr Murphy said it was a clear case of dangerous driving, but police often charged offenders with the lesser charge of careless driving.
If someone had died in the crash, he said, Roberts would have been charged with culpable driving.
Roberts told the court his decision to drive that night was "one of the most disgusting decisions [he'd] ever made".
Mr Murphy convicted and fined him $750.
Roberts was also disqualified from driving for 15 months.
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