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Serial drink driver had 4 kids in car

The judge said Jeffrey Huddleston, who was supported in court by his pregnant wife, had to “take responsibility at some point in your life.”

A SERIAL drink driver had been out of jail for less than a week before he blew 0.278 with four kids in the back seat, Darwin Local Court has heard.

Jeffrey Huddleston, 43, pleaded guilty yesterday to high-range drink driving and driving disqualified after police spotted him behind the wheel on the Stuart Hwy at Adelaide River last week.

He had just finished serving nine-months’ jail, also for high-range drink driving and speeding.

When questioned by police, Huddleston said he was “going back to Pine Creek to see my mum”.

Prosecutor Ken Edmondson told the court Huddleston had been disqualified for five years this March.

Defence lawyer Patrick Coleridge said Huddleston “does not describe himself as an alcoholic …

But he is a regular drinker and when he drinks it’s a problem for him.”

Mr Coleridge said Huddleston chose to drive because he didn’t want his heavily pregnant wife to be behind the wheel.

“Prison has obviously not prevented him going about this type of offending,” he said.

“If prison is ineffective … then the courts should think about something more effective.

“(But) I concede that jail is the starting point (in sentencing).”

He said unlike his last drink-driving offence, Huddleston was not speeding .

The court heard two of the kids were Huddleston’s, while the other two were relatives.

Judge Greg Smith said he “wasn’t moved” to consider any punishments other than jail time.

“I’ve got a situation where a man will not stop driving a car with massive amounts of alcohol in his system,” he said.

Mr Smith said the longer Huddleston was in jail, the less likely it was a car he was driving would be “smashed into a tree when he’s highly intoxicated.”

“The only thing that makes it less serious than the last time is apparently last time you were speeding,” he said.

He said Huddleston, who was supported in court by his pregnant wife, had to “take responsibility at some point in your life.”

“If you want to get on a bender, that’s a matter for you, the issue is getting into a car and driving,” he said.

“Until you get that through your head you’ll be going back to jail.”
Mr Smith sentenced Huddleston to six months’ jail.