'You can't punish away addiction' - alcohol researcher

Morning Talk 21/11/2018

An expert in impaired driving says the case of recidivist drink driver Gavin Hawthorn shows that you can’t "punish away addiction".

The 56-year-old repeat offender was sentenced to six months' home detention, 180 hours' community service and disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for two years.

Impaired driving expert Gerald Waters told RadioLIVE that jail and home detention have been used historically to punish drink drivers.

He argues that those types of punishments clearly don’t work. Instead, the expert suggests that addiction treatment be emphasised in the justice system.

"We need some fundamental changes which we have introduced in the last eight years," Mr Waters said.

"But unfortunately, for some people the historical approach of jail time has been ineffective and will continue to be ineffective. "

Hawthorn has more than 60 convictions, which also include for burglary, assault, disorderly behaviour and possession of cannabis.

Listen to the full interview with Gerald Waters above.

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