Almost a dozen Field Day 2016 punters will now have criminal records after being arrested during the Sydney dance event on drug possession charges, including first-time offenders in possession of less than five pills.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Magistrate John Favretto cited the recent spate of drug-related deaths at music festivals as he convicted and fined 20-year-old Cameron Dwyer, who was caught with four pills in his underpants.

“These offences are too serious as people keep dying. It’s got to stop,” Mr Favretto said, rejecting the first time offender’s pleas for leniency during a hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court on Monday.

Mr Favretto said more young first-time offenders are risking arrest at music festivals because they expect to be handed a “section 10”, wherein the accused is found guilty but does not have a conviction recorded against them.

This year’s Field Day event saw police charge a total of 184 punters with drug offences, including eight with dealing. A 23-year-old woman also ended up in hospital after a suspected drug overdose, one of 212 people to receive medical treatment at the event.

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