Teacher cops driving ban
THE LOOMING Tropical Cyclone Marcia and a multitude of personal problems were no excuses for drink driving according to magistrate John Smith.
Sonia Gonda faced Childers Magistrates Court last week and pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence.
Gonda blew 0.198 about 5pm on February 20 at Woodgate’s Eagle Rd, after drinking with family members that day.
Defence lawyer Matt Messenger said Gonda admitted to drinking alcohol at her father’s home.
Gonda told police she drank two beers there in addition to an earlier one at home, but corrected the record because she had been drinking port.
Mr Messenger said she had no intention of misleading the court.
He said the school teacher had been going through a tough time, and said her grandmother’s death and the two-year anniversary of her brother’s death affected her judgment.
He said she was driving only because her 13-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son had disappeared from the house, and she was anxious about their well-being.
The children returned home shortly after.
Mr Messenger said Gonda “appreciated the inherent danger” and accepted punishment, but asked Mr Smith to consider her role as a teacher in Bundaberg when considering his judgment.
“On one hand I have that statement of her high regard, but I also have here a long history of driving against road rules,” Mr Smith said.
“You know the dangers,” he said.
“(the issues) explain some reasons for the stress but it doesn’t justify the action.”
Gonda was fined $1600 and disqualified from driving for 14 months.