A woman who was seven times the legal alcohol limit when she was caught driving by police has been sentenced to a year in jail.
Xanthe Janet Harmer, 40, of Linden Avenue, pleaded guilty in Orange Local Court to high-range drink-driving with a reading of 0.351.
Harmer was already subject to an interlock order for a previous high-range drink-driving offence but on June 8 she drove a different car that did not have the device fitted.
Police saw her stop five to 10 metres short of the intersection of Burrendong and Molong roads at 9.25pm and slowly turn left.
According to police she was unable to stay within her lane on Molong Road so she was stopped for a random breath test and later told police she drank 500 mililitres of straight vodka between 10am and 3pm.
Magistrate David Day gave Harmer a 12-month jail sentence with six-month non-parole period and said "community safety is paramount" when considering a sentence.
"Her driving is erratic and dangerous to the public," Mr Day said.
Because of her [high alcohol] tolerance, she was still able to function at all and was still alive at the time.Magistrate David Day
"Quite plainly she's willing to drive any vehicle while she's intoxicated.
"I think people are aware that people who are affected by alcohol are dangerous because their reactions are slower."
Mr Day also convicted her without punishment for driving a vehicle that did not have an interlock device installed.
Although she was immediately taken into custody she was released on bail later that afternoon pending her district court appeal later this month.
Mr Day described Harmer as "a highly intelligent woman" who was otherwise "considered a high-functioning alcoholic".
"Because of her tolerance, she was still able to function at all and was still alive at the time," Mr Day said.
Solicitor Rebecca Scott said Harmer urged Mr Day not to give Harmer a custodial sentence and at worst give her a community-based intensive correction order.
She said Harmer, who was the mother of young children, was in a highly emotional state at the time for a number of reasons including an argument with her partner when she jumped in the car in the "heat of the moment".
"She does recognise that she has a problem with alcohol, that problem does lead to her offending," Ms Scott said.
She said Harmer had a traumatic childhood which led to issues with depression and anxiety and in later life influenced her dependence on alcohol.
"She has shown remorse from the beginning, from the night of the offence," Ms Scott said.
- Harmer appealed her jail sentence in Orange District Court on November 27, 2019, and her jail sentence was replaced with a 12-month intensive correction order.
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