Police conduct a random breath test on a motorist.
Police conduct a random breath test on a motorist. Michaela O'Neill

Drunk driver 'six times limit'

A HERVEY Bay woman was dicing with death when she drove south through Gympie at more than six times the legal alcohol limit and speeding on Sunday night.

Gympie police caught the woman exceeding the speed limit at 11.30pm, only half an hour after setting up a speed gun detection point on the Bruce Highway near Bridge Street.

Police said the woman was heavily intoxicated and consuming liquor while driving.

They also found the woman was not the holder of a current driver’s licence and, when breathalysed, recorded an alleged blood alcohol concentration of 0.302 per cent.

Sergeant Vic Tipman said the woman, 47, was so intoxicated police drove her back to the police station and held her in the watch house until she sobered up. She was released about 9am yesterday.

She has been given a notice to appear in court on August 19 for the alleged offences of driving under the influence of alcohol and unlicensed driving.

Further charges of speeding and consuming liquor while driving have also been laid.

Officer in Charge of the Gympie Police Station Senior Sergeant Phil Edwards said yesterday drink driving would not be tolerated at any level.

“(It’s) absolutely ridiculous, an extraordinary level (of intoxication),” he said.

Senior Sergeant Edwards said it was abhorrent to see a blood alcohol concentration like the .302 per cent recorded at the weekend, especially with the amount of crashes in recent times in which alcohol had been a contributing factor.

As one of the fatal four, drink driving is a major focus for police.

Someone who was more than six times the legal limit had no concern for other road users, Snr Sgt Edwards said, and at that level the decision making process and reaction times were severely affected.

Also on the weekend, police had to shut down a 15th birthday party where a 15-year-old girl had consumed so much alcohol she needed to be hospitalised.

The party, held on Saturday at an Iron Street residence, was broken up by police about midnight. Only well enough to speak to police about 4am Sunday morning, the girl told police she had drunk a whole bottle of vodka by herself during the party.

Sergeant Vic Tipman said yesterday a number of complaints from neighbouring residents about a major disturbance in the street had led them to the party, where they found about 100 juveniles drinking.

Police had to break up the gathering and made a number of arrests as a result of drunken teens who didn’t want to stop partying.

Even though they didn’t take anyone to hospital for intoxication on Saturday night, Gympie Ambulance officers said they were kept busy responding to calls about people drinking too much alcohol.

Officer in Charge of the Gympie Ambulance Wayne Sachs said there seemed to be numerous calls about binge drinking every Friday and Saturday night in the Gympie region and he warned there were real risks associated with drinking too much alcohol.

The most dangerous situation that could arise from binge drinking, he said, was choking on your own vomit.

He said it might look like intoxicated persons were asleep but they “could quite easily lose their airway, vomit and die”.

Mr Sachs said drunken people also too often took risks they might not usually take while sober and often put themselves into dangerous situations.

The Queensland Government website www.everydrinkcounts.qld.gov.au defines binge drinking as a heavy use of alcohol undertaken on a single occasion over a short period of time and suggests drinking only two or less standard drinks on any one day to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm over your lifetime.

The website also encourages people having a drinking session to keep the number of standard drinks down to four to reduce the risk of injury and for people under the age of 18 not to drink at all.

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