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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) and welcome to A Current Affair. Thank you But it's also a law and order farce. Drink-driving - it's a crime. Tonight, how culprits get off. What do u do you

do you reckon of the penalty

y u got 3 months and $300 f ne. do you recko of the penalty you got - 3 months and $300 fine.

coffee, even your soft drink. Also, the caffeine hit in your on just how it affects your health. Surprise facts hands-free mobile phones Plus the ban on P-platers using Plus the b n on P-platers us ng

who break the law every day? but what about drivers This program is captioned live. Those stories shortly. First, to drink-driving - and a legal system tonight we take on the offenders over and over again. which allows them to do it During recent weeks, their noses at the law we've exposed offenders thumbing and the rest of us by simply walking out of court where they've just been disqualified the wheel. and jumping straight back behind but what about the courts themselves? That's bad enough,

Where there seems no rhyme or reason. in some of the sentences handed down. No justice either you got? What do you reckon of the penalty It was three months and a $300 fine. Do I have to talk to you? Do I have to talk to you? Hey?

daughter, robbed of grandchildren. Totally robbed, robbed of a loving No.

now in the graveyard. You know, I go to visit my daughter to live for. Rebecca Last had everything sort of a person. She was a very loving, capable in this head-on collision. Two years ago the 27-year-old died to Rebecca's parents, mate? What would you say I mean... Let's go. ..are you sorry about what happened? responsible - Robert Gillies. And this is the P-plate driver what it has cost us. I don't think he fully understands the seriousness of the offence I'm sure he does realise what it has done to us. but I don't think he realises

to come over and say "I am sorry." He didn't have the decency to you , though? Would sorry have made any difference Yeah.

You can say sorry to them, mate. Let's go, John. You can say sorry to them, seriously. to them at all? You don't want to say anything

they've lost their daughter, mate. I mean they are heartbroken, to dangerous driving causing death, Gillies pleaded not guilty a drink-driving charge. but he admitted in the hours before the crash, Downing six beers the P-plate limit. he was more than three times over

He knew he was drinking, he shouldn't have been driving, he knew the law said alcohol to go over the limit he knew that it didn't take much and yet he drove. the 19-year-old gyprocker Gillies's lawyers argued was not responsible for the accident a microsleep because he could have had

called automatism. or suffered from a condition there was no medical proof, Although two experts said the judge told the jury, they are not responsible "When this happens the law says

"for those offences, for conscious voluntary acts." "the law only punishes people

he then advised the jury, Remarkably if he was in fact asleep at the time "Simply the issue is, "that is the end of it, he is not guilty." "he is not driving and therefore

The jury agreed. For drink-driving

driving ban and a $300 fine. Gillies walked away with a 3-month

Rebecca's brother, Anthony. a value on someone's life, I don't know how anyone can put as that. especially as something as pathetic

today that he does not drive Gillies's defence team assured us since the fatal accident. and has not driven

of judges, Even when bodies are put in front "Let's consider the offender first." it still seems to be of a hit-run drink-driver. Chris Green's son died at the hands He went to jail for three years, in a similar position. she now counsels families

of one of these crimes, When someone's found guilty to give them a discount. there seems to be all these reasons they've killed someone. Wait a minute,

What about the victim's rights?

a real offence. The legal system doesn't consider it

and off you go. They think it's a slap on the wrist

if it was their daughter? I wonder how the judges would react that happened to me. Losing my licence was the best thing Duane Hulm. Meet self-confessed alcoholic that basically had been with me It made me confront a problem for a long time.

was a chronic drink-driver. I, by my own admission, three times in 10 years. Duane was caught drink-driving he didn't kill anyone, He wasn't in an accident, disqualification and a $1,300 fine. his punishment - 28 months Then he was ordered installed in his car to have an alcohol interlocater for a further three years.

if he's had a drink. The car won't start he's been unfairly punished. He believes you know, It's in the paper every day, and it makes me sick. people getting away with it drink-driving sentences Now a member of AA, Duane believes themselves - random. are a bit like breath tests over the whole issue. There's been a loss of perspective drink-drivers off the roads, And even when the courts order it has little affect. as we showed you recently, Many simply ignore the threat of jail

the wheel. and get straight back behind runs a traffic offenders program Ex-ambulance officer Graham Symes in western Sydney. They only get one go at this program a person a second chance. because I don't believe in giving the first time, well, that's it. If they haven't learned 180 rogue drivers Every Thursday night for their last chance. under court order - turn up here Our body really gets off on drugs. can mean a slighter sentence. Completing the 8-week program to this bloke. It seems, though, it means little Opens your eyes up a fair bit. What offence did you do to get here? Oh, low range drink-driving. Jesson. Sorry mate. Where about are youse? Brew Bar, alright, I'll see you soon. See you, mate. You're not going for a beer, are you?

Oh, a couple. Excuse me, mate, have you got your licence with you? Excuse, me, mate, have you been disqualified?

No, no. You've still got your licence with you?

Yeah, mate. Can I see your licence? No. You wouldn't show me your licence? No.

Drink-driving, it's a crime, and if anyone needs reminding just remember Rebecca's family. It's something we will live with for the rest of our lives. This is something you can never get over. Simon Bouda there with what's becoming a national scandal. We'll certainly stay on the case. Speaking of campaigns, you might remember this story. 9-year-old Brendan Saul was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who was under the influence of drugs. Brendan's killer was also unlicensed and underage, yet he walked free.

Now an appeal against the leniency of that sentence has also been dismissed. Brendan's dad, Kevin Saul, is understandably distraught and angry. We'll talk with him in a moment, but first this quick reminder. If you run, if you hide, if you lie, if you do all these things wrong from the police, you can get away with things. What's your take on the justice system? The justice system is wrong. There is no justice system. He packed 60 years of living into nine years of life. He didn't deserve what he got. Kevin says his son Brendan got a life sentence, run down and left to die on the side of the road, while the hit and run driver, with a lengthy criminal record, got off. Very well known to the police,

probably another 12 charges, maybe more. That didn't count for anything? No. He's a juvenile so each case is its own new case. So just so we're clear on a few facts here, this driver was underage. Yes. He was unlicensed? Correct. He was on drugs? Yes. He didn't swerve or stop? That's right. He killed your son? Kept driving? Hid? Lied? Yes. And now he's been cleared of dangerous driving while under the influence of drugs occasioning death and negligent driving, causing the death of your son? That's right. How do you cope with those facts? I got up and walked out of court. The court heard the teenage driver and his mates smoked marijuana and took morphine just hours before the hit and run. They have a 2-hour window to test for drugs. He ran, he hid. And it was the delay in taking that evidence that helped the driver get off. Once he admitted to being the driver, they then had to apply to the courts 'cause he's under the age, he's a juvenile. Magistrate Paul McMahon ruled that it couldn't be proved beyond reasonable doubt the teenager was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash despite the fact that he tested positive to morphine and cannabis

six hours later. Do you feel cheated? Yeah, cheated - I've never really thought of it that way but yes, you know, we've been robbed. We've been robbed of a loving boy in our family, the community's been robbed of someone who - we don't know what he was going to be. Yeah, cheated's not a bad word. Thanks for joining us, Kevin. You've taken up a campaign in memory of Brendan? Tell me what you want, what you want to change. I don't like the idea of a magistrate having full power that he has. You know, in a capital crime like this, there should be two, three magistrates

and they have to all agree on what goes on. For one person to sit behind a bench and decide and use his discretion

is wrong. So we need to have mandatory sentencing after say three times before a court, then he is sentenced. Three strikes you're out. Absolutely. And no question, doesn't need a judge, or a magistrate, that's it. Three strikes, straight up. You could then appeal maybe the sentence but you can't - but on your fourth strike straight into jail no ifs, no buts, no maybes. How do you feel? How do you feel if someone keeps committing crimes and there's no custodial sentence?

I don't understand it, Ray. I can't come to grips with if you or I do something wrong, if we break the law, if we speed,

the cops are going to pull us over and book us and we accept that. So if you kill someone, if you break, enter and steal and do all these other things - Which he's done.

Which he's done, he's got to go to jail.

It doesn't make any sense and that's what we really want. We want some sense in the judicial system.

Is it true that same day that the driver appeared in court the appeal was dismissed, he was there on a violence charge, another charge? He was there on two charges - one for assault and one for intimidation. He was found guilty on both and given six months probation for each to be served concurrently. Kevin, I've got the tell you, we get more calls and more letters, I think, about this problem of leniency of sentences than just about anything. I could well imagine. But nothing changes, nothing happens. We have to push the legislators to understand what the people want and that's where we have to start looking at mandatory sentencing. Tell them, we're the people, you're our public servants you do what we want and this is what we want. How do you maintain the rage? When you look at the empty chair at our table every night, you look at the family photos,

the boys talk about him all the time, Patsy talks about him all the time so it's not that he's ever far away from our thoughts. That helps maintain the rage. Kevin, we wish you well, thanks for what you're doing, good luck. Thank you, Ray. Three strikes and you're in, behind bars that is.

The dad's campaign makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? We want to know what you think and whether you have a story to tell about our justice system. Contact us through email or just phone us here. Coming up - young drivers banned from using hands-free phones. If it's so dangerous why don't we ban everybody? And, how a caffeine hit can hurt whether it's in your coffee or your favourite soft drink. That's next. SONG: # Hey, where's my Weet-Bix? I need them every day... # Does your family start their day with the goodness and energy of wholegrains? Or are they eating cocoa-flavoured popped rice with 0% wholegrain, cornflakes with less than 5% wholegrain, or the biggest-selling energy cereal with less than 25% wholegrain? MATERIAL STRETCHES LOUDLY If you want lasting goodness and real energy so your kids can fly into their day... DOING! ..insist on: Australia's favourite breakfast. # Hope you've had your Weet-Bix... # Welcome back. One of the last untouched vices of life is coming under attack. It's caffeine, mostly associated, of course, with coffee, but increasingly found in popular soft drinks, and energy supplements. Well, now the experts are claiming it not only does nothing for us but it's actually harmful. And most of us have no idea how much we're drinking. It's one of the most commonly consumed drugs on the planet. On every street corner you can get your fix, your kids can get a hit, athletes a charge and dance party nuts can get revved up and it's all legal. It's called caffeine and it may not be as harmless as you think. It is addictive. It crosses the placenta, it affects the growing foetus. We know that it elevates blood pressure. It's extremely toxic, it can kill you if you take too much. Not bad for something that 80% of the world's population consume in one form or another. But how do we know what is too much? How does the public know how much caffeine is in that cola, that sports or energy drink, that cuppa or that coffee? I don't think they've got any idea whatsoever. Ben Desbrow is a dietician at Griffith University in Queensland who's become obsessed with coffee and caffeine. The average consumer deserves the right

to know what's in their cup of coffee. There's a very large variation in caffeine concentration from retail coffee. Ben tested 99 single shots of espresso coffee on which all serious coffee is built and he's right, we don't have a clue what we're drinking - from the low to the high. In our study it was 214mg in one serve. And the lowest level we had was 25mg so I guess the point we were trying to make is that you really don't know what you're about to receive when you ask for a coffee in terms of its caffeine content. Our own testing across 34 coffee retailers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne found this same glaring differences. The lowest caffeine levels per cup were as follows: While the highest were: Do you mind being a drug dealer? No, I rather like it, actually. Well, it certainly beats being a lawyer, which was Dean Merlo's profession a decade ago before he fell for coffee. Now one of the best purveyors of this elixir, Merlo Coffee's caffeine levels are about average, 101mg per cup. Is that an accident that it's like that? No, I believe you get the right caffeine level in a coffee that's been properly made and by that I mean use fresh coffee, the right amount of coffee and the right extraction. But why is caffeine added to colas, sport and energy drinks? Dr Liz Douglas is the research fellow at Monash University. Well, I suppose the cynic might argue it would be in order to have us all addicted so that we go out and buy some more. Energy drinks like Red Bull and V do at least contain clear health warnings because of their caffeine levels, but their market target is the young and many drink the stuff so they can go harder and consume more alcohol. They drink these energy drinks to lift them up and that's possibly the first example ever of a psycho-active drug being advertised for its psycho-active properties.

That is something to think about. Obviously it's advisable to keep people who are still developing in their younger years away from large amounts of caffeine. Pregnant ladies it's 300mg per day and for healthy adults it's around 400mg. There is no scientific basis for those sorts of recommendations. I can really only answer that question in one way and that is there is no safe level. And that's especially the case for pregnant women. Associate Professor Irina Pollard from Macquarie University. If she already is pregnant, I would say cut it right down

or out if you can. At the same time caffeine is lowering the nation's birth rate, it's also raising its blood pressure. If we have virtually the entire population with their blood pressure elevated by only a few millimetres of mercury, it actually becomes perhaps some issue of public health importance. The caffeine content should be addressed on each of the drinks and there should be a warning. Oh, it would be almost impossible. Not worth thinking about? I don't think the odd cup of coffee isn't going to kill you. David Margan there with a timely warning on the effects of caffeine. Well, we all know it's illegal and downright dangerous to talk on your mobile phone while you're driving, yet, we see it everywhere, everyday. Even using a hands-free kit is distracting, at best. And now, there's a push underway to ban young drivers, those on P- and L-plates from using such hands-free mobiles. But why should we stop there? We'll, it's not that hard, you know, you got your eyes on the road at the same time just looking down every now and then. Like plenty of young drivers, Michael Field thinks he's got a pretty good grip on the wheel, even when he's using his mobile. No, it's not that hard to do. But today he was dialling up danger on the road. I did hit somebody. Fortunately, he was behind the wheel of a simulator Accident Research Centre. at Melbourne's Monash University Accident Res arch Centre. But testing Michael proves what we long feared - that driving while using a mobile, whether texting, hand held or hands-free, is an accident waiting to happen.

You swerved out of your lane a number of times, you almost ran a red light, you almost rear-ended three cars, you were exceeding the speed limit by quite a lot and finally, you hit a pedestrian. Oh god, that's so bad. So bad, L- and P-plate drivers in Victoria could now be banned from all mobile phone use while driving and that includes hands-free. I don't think anyone should be using mobile phones, it just distracts you. Researchers here claim you are four times more likely to have a fatal crash using one of these while driving are just as dangerous as hand held. Both hand held phones and hands-free phones increase the risk of having a fatal car crash by about four to five times. That's the equivalent to have a blood alcohol concentration

of about 0.08. Monash University researcher Dr Michael Regan says it's a myth

to claim talking hands free is as safe as talking to your passenger. They can see the traffic ahead and typically slow down the conversation or stop talking if they know going gets tough for the driver. In addition to that, the reception on the mobile phone can be poor at times

and that means you need more concentration to listen to the mobile phone. Should this ban apply to all drivers, not just new drivers? I agree, I think the ban should apply to all drivers, it's just that younger drivers are more vulnerable to the affects of distraction, Hand held mobile phone use while driving is banned in every State, but so far none of them are answering Victoria's call to outlaw hands-free for young drivers. Our research shows pretty strong community support - 66% across the board, for a prohibition on mobile phone use among young drivers and even among novices themselves a majority support of around 55%, so it does have a community support. RAC . Dr Ken Ogden is from motoring group RACV. He wants the ban to include all drivers, not just P- and L-platers,

but admits it will be tough to police. It's very difficult to enforce a mobile phone ban in a car. There has to be a strong publicity campaign so that as with alcohol, as with speeding, people know that this is a risking behaviour. It is just as dangerous to drive when you are talking

as well as on your hands free, so it is much of a muchness really, isn't it? But it will be hard to control. It might be a good idea, especially for L-Platers, I don't think they have, sort of, have all the co-ordination yet to be able to handle both things at the same time. What message would you take home today? Not to ever have your phone on in the car. Elise Mooney reporting. Still to come - reckon you're getting the right start to the day? How bad is your breakfast cereal? VOICEOVER: Introducing the new Astra Coupe. With four airbags and ABS standard, the Astra Coupe provides you with incredible confidence. But in the end, the real confidence comes from having a great body. The sexy new Astra Coupe.

Its ColourSeal technology gives you up to six weeks of non-stop colour, sealing in that freshly coloured glow. It's only in Nice 'n Easy and keeps your colour wonderful. You'd think that a bowl of cereal would be a a pretty simple and healthy way to start the day. After all, we're constantly told they are full of vitamins and minerals and roughage. But are they all as good for you as we're told? UPBEAT MUSIC

I get Just Right all the time. I like Sultana Bran. I have porridge for breakfast. It might be the most important meal of the day but are you waking up to a big bowl of sugar, salt and fat?

Well, it's no surprise most of these cereals could best be described as sugar in a box. In fact, probably the most nutritious thing about them is the milk that you add to the bowl. Dr Tim Crowe is a dietician and lecturer in nutrition

at Melbourne's Deakin University. He says many cereals don't cut it when it comes to our health and nutrition. Here's a likely candidate. This breakfast cereal has the equivalent three tea spoons of sugar per serve which unfortunately is par for the course for most of these kids' breakfast cereals, not much good for kids and not much good for adults either. At the Kreuger's place in Melbourne, 8-year-old Mickey likes her daily dose of Froot Loops. I like Froot Loops because they're colourful, taste great and they've got a good fruity flavour. Mickey, she likes Froot Loops, Coco Pops, as I said, Weetbix, Cornflakes, Rice Bubbles,

you know, you name it.

She'll eat it? Yeah, she'll eat it. Yeah, she's pretty good like that. Do you think about the nutritional value of cereal when you're at the supermarket?

I did years ago when all the kids were little but Mickey is the baby and I don't worry about it anymore, otherwise the boxes might just sit there too long so I just buy what they like. ADVERTISEMENT: But here's something you might not know about Kellogg's Coco Pops.

Milo cereal - goodness from wheat and slow-burning energy. If you believe the marketing, you're doing your family's health a big favour by serving up this stuff. In fact, Kellogg's Coco Pops with milk provides more than 25% of daily calcium needs.

Certainly be cautious when you see claims about the added vitamins and minerals and other health benefits. Claire Hughes from 'Choice' magazine says the nutritional value of most breakfast cereals leaves a lot to be desired. We looked at over 150 breakfast cereals and assessed them nutritionally to see how much fibre was in them, how much sugar, how much salt, and found that only about 40 of those 150 would be considered a healthy, everyday breakfast cereal. Of the five top selling cereals 'Choice' gives the thumbs up to just two - Sanitarium Weetbix and Uncle Toby's Vita Brits. Kellogg's Just Right got an OK score. Kellogg's Nutri-grain got a thumbs down for low fibre and high sugar and Kellogg's Cornflakes also got the thumbs down for low fibre and high salt. We've got Crunchy, Nut Froot Loops, Choco Rice, Vita Brits and muesli. Right, bit of a wide selection there. Pretty easy for me to look at these ones - the Crunchy Nut, Froot Loops and Choco Rice all have two big things in common - full of added sugar, probably up to three teaspoons per serve and really low in fibre. These other ones, though, Vita Brits, the muesli, fantastic choice for breakfast - low in fat, high in fibre. Dr Tim Crowe says always read the label. If it has more than 3 grams of fibre per serve and less than 5 grams of sugar, it will likely be a good cereal. If it's got the Heart Foundation tick that can be a good guide that it's a good cereal low in fat, high in fibre and low in salt. Kerry, having spoken to Tim this morning, have you had any change of heart about the cereals you're buying for the kids? Oh, I think I don't know, I think I'll just continue to buy what they eat, eating something is better than nothing. Ben McCormack reporting. And there's more detailed information about breakfast cereals on our website. Now to tomorrow night, when we'll tell you how money you lose when you buy a new car. Depreciation and a range of hidden costs can can knock as much as 50% off its value when you drive out the gate. But there are safeguards you should know about.

Most people just get Most people just et sold

Most people just get sold on sex.

Cars are sexy. I paid M s p ople just e sold on s x. Cars ar sexy. I pa d Most people just get sold on sex. Cars are sexy. I paid $2,000 Cars ar sexy. I pa d $2,0 Cars are sexy. I paid $2,000 for Cars ar sexy. I pa d $2,000 f r

Cars are sexy. I paid $2,000 for this car. Two years later Cars are sexy. I pa d $ ,000 for this ca . Two years later it's Cars are sexy. I paid $2,000 for this car. Two years later it's only worth $24,000. o l worth $24,00 . only worth $24,000. Lots of people

lose money on new cars. If you're a

private punter and you buy a new

car, you've got to be filthy rich

or a bit dumb. Ben Fordham with that investigation tomorrow night, when we'll also bring you our exclusive on the very latest in development in Australian education. Cameras in the classroom trained not on the students but the teachers. Look forward to your company then. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.