Grandmother arrested for driving drunk with kids in car

WHEN a grandmother was pulled over by police on suspicion of drink driving, she could have saved herself a short stint in the watch house had she complied with the request to submit to a roadside test.

But Terry Rose Fernando, 46, resisted, declining a number of requests to blow in the bag, the Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

Police prosecutor Natalie Bugden told the court police intercepted Fernando, 46, on Bridge St on October 16.

Sergeant Bugden said the officers observed Fernando to be "highly intoxicated" smelling strongly of alcohol with her grandchildren in the vehicle.

She said Fernando at first refused the police direction before complying, returning a roadside reading of 0.136%.

Officers then transported Fernando and the children to the Toowoomba police station for further tests.

Sgt Bugden said while at the station Fernando "blatantly refused" to comply with police directions during a secondary test at the station, which is standard procedure after a positive roadside reading.

She told the court Fernando refused, telling officers: "Lock me up in the watch house, I don't care", at which point she was arrested and taken into custody.

Fernando spent a number of hours in the Toowoomba watch house before she was released the next morning, charged with fail to provide specimen of breath for analysis.

Solicitor Peter Sloane said his client had a limited traffic history before the events on October 16, and submitted Fernando had no intentions of driving that night.

Mr Sloane said Fernando had been at her mother-in- law's home when the pair began arguing, which ended with his client being told to leave the premises.

He said Fernando spent the night in the watch house but was unclear on how long that was because police had not noted the time of the vehicle intercept on Bridge St.

He said the grandchildren had been picked up by their mother after the arrest.

He said his client's licence had been suspended since that night, and asked Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck to take into account the time Fernando spent in police custody.

Mr Schemioneck noted Fernando had no similar offences in her criminal history and fined her $1200 and disqualified her licence for seven months. No conviction was recorded.



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