Chronic drink driver crashes through signs, fence
AN Ipswich magistrate lamented the "scourge" of drink driving on the community while sentencing a young woman who crashed her car twice just five weeks apart under the influence of alcohol.
Jane Beatrice Atkinson, 22, of Karalee pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence of liquor and driving over the general alcohol limit but not over the middle alcohol limit.
The court heard police arrived to the scene of a single-vehicle crash at 6.50pm on November 5 last year at Barellan Point, with fire and ambulance services already on the scene.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said Atkinson was driving at 70km/h down Bass St, where she struck a give way sign and continued driving.
She then flattened a metal flood indicator sign and drove into a fence.
Members of the QFES on the scene before police observed alcohol on the floor of the car and a strong smell of liquor.
Atkinson, who was observed to have bloodshot eyes and could not speak coherently, was taken to hospital.
A specimen of blood was taken in hospital and the results showed there was 180 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
The second incident at 12.30am on December 17 at Anstead, resulted in her driving into another fence on Mount Crosby Rd.
It left her with a $5000 repair bill.
Although she was just over the legal limit at 0.07 following a breath test, anti-depressant and anti-nausea medications were also found in her system.
The court heard she only had one pint of beer at after work drinks and then dropped a friend home.
Atkinson's defence lawyer said she was undertaking therapy after leaving an abusive relationship and she hadn't driven since April.
She decided to drive after getting into an argument with her then boyfriend after leaving a Karalee hotel.
He forced her out of the car and told her 'she better be home in 15 minutes.'
Magistrate David Shepherd said mixing medication with alcohol was never going to result in a "good outcome".
"It seems unlikely (a reading of) 0.07 is going to cause someone to drive through a fence," he said.
"You then drove in those circumstances... after you'd had a crash 5 weeks earlier."
She was given a probation order of 12 months and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Convictions were recorded.