Teacher cops driv­ing ban

Isis Town and Country - - News -

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.

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