Driver had .328 blood alcohol when she crashed into car
Two cars were written off after a woman with one of the highest blood-alcohol content readings seen in Queensland, crashed into a parked car.
Kellie Lana Norton, 37, recorded a blood-alcohol content reading of .328 after crashing her white Volkswagen into a parked Hyundai on Diplock St, North Rockhampton, on November 30 last year at 4.25am.
She pleaded guilty on April 14 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of high range drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of a crash.
The court heard both cars were written off.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Peter Rumford said police located Norton 400 metres from the crash at the corner of Dean and Kerrigan streets, wearing dark clothing and smelling strongly of alcohol.
Defence lawyer Justin Houlihan told the court since the accident, Norton had sought help for mental health issues and alcohol dependency.
"She has issued herself a driving ban," he said.
He said Norton recalled very little about the crash, remembering being at home when something startled her and she left her house.
Mr Houlihan said footage showed her reversing from her house at 4.20am and the crash at 4.25am showed her driving in the direction to return home.
Mr Houlihan said his client, the mother of two, had worked for Queensland Rail for seven years as a passenger support officer which required her to do some station work as well as office work.
He said her job was inconsistent shift work hours, making it difficult for her to retain a sleep pattern so she had used alcohol to help her get to sleep.
Mr Houlihan said his client had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety along with alcohol dependency prior to the crash.
He said she had also attended a clinic at Gympie prior to the crash for her alcohol dependency which had developed over the years, but mostly in the 12 months prior to the crash.
Mr Houlihan said following the crash, which was "a huge wake up call", Norton admitted herself into Archerview Clinic (Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital's mental health clinic) in January, then stayed at a Sunshine Coast clinic later in January.
He said Norton had since obtained a mental health plan from a general practitioner, attended appointments with a psychologist and was involved with three Alcoholic Anonymous groups of which two met via Zoom.
Magistrate Jason Schubert said Norton had a very good traffic record for somebody of her age.
"The reading on this occasion is up there with the highest readings I've seen in this role which I've been doing for eight years," he said.
"It was pure luck that you ran into a parked car.
"You're lucky no-one was injured or killed because of your behaviour."
Mr Schubert put Norton on an 18-month probation order for the drink driving offence, disqualified her from driving for 16 months and fined her $500 for the second charge.
Traffic convictions were recorded.
The highest BAC recorded in Queensland was .48, recorded by a Gold Coast woman who was found passed out in her car outside a Runaway Bay cafe.
The highest in Australia was New South Wales woman who had a BAC of .486. The Coffs Harbour woman had crashed her car into a fence and passed out at the wheel.
Read more here: Woman who blew 0.486 escapes jail with a good behaviour bond
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