A disqualified driver who crashed her car while significantly exceeding 0.05 will spend 26 weeks in jail.
Louise Ann Robertson, 55, of Hadspen pleaded guilty to disqualified driving and driving a motor vehicle while exceding prescribed alcohol limit on March 28, 2020.
She had a 10-week wholly suspended sentence hanging over head when she committed the offences.
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Police prosecutor Natalie Clark said Robertson was seen by police after she crashed her car on the Meander Valley Highway.
She told police she had been drinking from 2.30pm to 7.45pm including a bottle of Passion Pop.
She had been at a friend’s house and left to drive a short distance home when a car pulled out in front of her causing her to run off the road.
A breathalyser reading of 0.219 was recorded.
Ms Clark said Robertson had a 10-week wholly suspended sentence imposed in June 2019 after a reading of 0.137 was recorded and at a time when she was also disqualifed.
It was her sixth time before the court with offences dating back to 1993.
Defence counsel Fran McCracken said the the offence came after Robertson lost her three cleaning jobs in one week.
“She accepts that she has a history of abusing alcohol as a form of self medication for anxiety,” Ms McCracken said.
Her drinking increased after being affected by a series of personal tragedies since 2015.
Magistrate Ken Stanton said Robertson had been in recent times a persistent offender and the penalty must be a firm one.
“I accept that it was only a short distance but it only takes a short distance for something terrible to happen,” he said.
He said her continued acts of driving while disqualified was undermining the authority of the courts and the aims of the Road Safety Alcohol and Drugs Act which were to be punitive as well as having a protective effect.
Mr Stanton activated the 10-week suspended sentence and added 16 more weeks.
He also disqualified her from driving for two years.