A WOMAN who drove to the Gympie Police Station to make a complaint was more than four times over the legal alcohol limit and not the holder of driver’s licence, Gympie Magistrates Court heard this week.
When Trudy Anne Leitch, 55, appeared in the foyer of the station to speak with police on April 5, officers could tell she was drunk.
They asked her if she drove from her home in Power Street and Leitch said “yes”. She was breathalysed and found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .222 per cent.
Her story was that she had to leave a difficult situation and “didn’t think” to walk or ask the neighbours to call police.
The court heard Leitch was disqualified from driving for a prior drink-driving charge for which she had a BAC of .271 per cent. Prior to that, but outside the five-year period, she was convicted of drink driving with a BAC of .247 per cent.
“Do you have an alcohol problem?” Magistrate Maxine Baldwin asked Trudy Leitch who replied that she didn’t think so.
“I was a silly-billy and I was scared. I give you my word it will not happen again,” Leitch said.
Mrs Baldwin said she didn’t operate on a wing and a prayer.
“Anybody who (drives to) a police station at .222 obviously has a real problem with alcohol consumption and making the right decisions.
“If you don’t accept you’ve got a problem you will end up in jail on another drink drive or disqualified drive charge. Next time it’s a mandatory prison term.”
Leitch told Mrs Baldwin she asked police for assistance and ended up in the lockup, adding that it didn’t occur to her not to drive that evening.
“Clearly you weren’t thinking... you are in danger of going to prison if you don’t get help,” Mrs Baldwin warned. “I don’t want to send a 54-year-old woman with no (criminal) history to jail for driving offences without doing everything I can to keep you out of jail. You’re on a knife’s edge.”
Mrs Baldwin placed Leitch on probation for two years and told her it was on the condition she not commit another offence.
“Far out Brussel sprout. I shan’t, trust me,” Leitch said, clearly relieved.
Mrs Baldwin considered giving her a condition that she not drink during the period of probation however, defence lawyer Ripley Perkins said that would set her up to fail.
Leitch was disqualified from driving for four years and told she would go to jail the next time she drove while over the limit.