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4July2013

Drink-driver was more than five times the limit

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M.A.J. LAW

WHEN a woman entered an Eimeo service station to buy a packet of cigarettes, the attendant was concerned she may have been drink-driving.

The woman looked intoxicated and smelled of alcohol, the Mackay Magistrates Court heard.

The attendant followed the woman outside and watched her get into a car and drive away before calling the police about 10.30pm on June 3.

Officers went to the home of Karen Dawn Podziuka, who was identified as the driver, but she told them she hadn’t left her residence all day, prosecutor Errica Fforde said.

When police told her she’d been caught on CCTV footage, she said “no, not me”, Ms Fforde said.

The 53-year-old had a substantial reading more than five times the legal limit. Her blood alcohol was 0.267%, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Geoff Govey, of Taylors Solicitors, said Podziuka wasn’t “thinking clearly” or acting “rationally”.

Podziuka had received some distressing news that day, which led to her drinking a large quantity of alcohol that day, Mr Govey said.

She was “ashamed” of her actions, he said.

She pleaded guilty yesterday to high-range drink-driving.

“Your reading was a substantial one,” Magistrate Ross Risson said.

Podziuka had consumed more alcohol when she returned home after buying cigarettes and before police arrived, Mr Risson said.

Regardless of whether Podziuka was upset, she must now “face the consequences” of her decision to drink-drive, he said.

Podziuka was convicted and fined $1500. She was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for 10 months.

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