Woman blew six times over … twice
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2019 themercury.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS 1300 696 397 A LAUNCESTON woman who blew more than six times the legal limit twice in four days has been banned from driving for four years but has avoided a further immediate jail term.
Cara Jane Monica Pullen, 46, had been in custody since May 1 when she was caught drink-driving for the second time.
Magistrate Ken Stanton yesterday sentenced Pullen to a seven-month jail term, wholly suspended on the condition that she completes a 12-month community corrections order, requiring her to do 98 hours’ community service and take part in treatment for alcohol addiction and a sober driver program.
Launceston Magistrates Court heard Pullen first came to the attention of police on Sunday, April 28, when a witness reported a woman driving erratically to the Olde Tudor Hotel bottle shop in Summerhill.
Bottle shop attendants were concerned at how unsteady Pullen was on her feet and when police arrived, they found her in the car.
Pullen returned a reading of 0.350 — seven times the legal limit — but told police she had only consumed “two small cups of vodka”.
She was taken by ambulance to hospital.
The following Wednesday morning, police were again alerted to Pullen’s driving and found her sitting in a car outside a unit in Lavender Grove.
The court heard a witness saw her drive into the driveway and stall the car.
Pullen, who had two bottles of vodka in her car, told police she had just driven to a bottle shop to buy more alcohol and had consumed two vodkas with orange.
After she returned a reading of 0.324, her car was impounded for 28 days.
Defence lawyer Lucy Flanagan said Pullen “clearly has an issue with alcohol” and used it as a “coping mechanism”.
Ms Flanagan said Pullen had been deeply affected by personal difficulties at the time, including the death of her former partner.
She was supported by her parents when she appeared in court yesterday.
The court heard Pullen had already sought professional help to address her mental health issues before the two drink-driving incidents.
Pullen had pleaded guilty to the two counts of high-range drink driving, while a charge of driving while disqualified was dismissed.