An “intelligent” university lecturer who “gives back to his community” has avoided gaol despite being caught drink driving three times in less than five years.
Devo Devrim was sentenced to at least four months in prison after pleading guilty to high-range drink driving in April.
But the linguistics lecturer spent just four hours behind bars after being granted bail before his district court appeal.
A second drink-driving conviction within five years carries a maximum penalty of a $5500 fine as well as a two-year prison sentence.
The court heard Devrim drove for roughly 100 metres past Armidale police station before being apprehended.
When Director of Public Prosecutions solicitor Ben Barrack asked Devrim why he did not call a taxi instead of driving, the lecturer answered, “I don’t know”.
Mr Bennett argued his client and Armidale community would be negatively impacted by a prison sentence, which would impede his involvement in a local literacy program.
Judge Stephen Hanley said he wanted to “send a message” to the community as a general deterrent from drink driving, but deemed a custodial sentence too harsh.