Driver nearly seven times over limit
A woman caught driving with a potentially fatal blood alcohol level walked away from Albany Magistrate’s Court with a minimum penalty last Thursday.
Deborah Suzanne Corson, 45, was caught driving nearly seven times over the legal limit and charged with driving under the influence after crashing her car on Royal Princess Drive just after 3pm on New Year’s Eve.
A breath analysis at Albany Police Station calculated the woman’s blood alcohol content at 0.332 per cent. National Drug Research Institute director Steve Allsop said that level of alcohol could be fatal for people who did not have any alcohol tolerance.
“When people get above 0.25 to 0.30 there is a huge risk to life,” he said.
Despite the seriousness of the offence, Magistrate Elizabeth Hamilton handed Ms Corson the minimum penalty of $800 and suspended her licence for six months.
It was Ms Corson’s first drink-driving related offence.
Police alleged Ms Corson turned right from York Street onto the wrong side of the road and drove about 500m, forcing an oncoming vehicle to swerve off the road to avoid a collision.
She kept driving on the wrong side of the road, ploughing into the next oncoming vehicle.
No one was seriously injured but both vehicles were badly damaged.
Police who attended the scene said Ms Corson was completely unaware she had driven on the wrong side of the road.
The court heard Ms Corson was upset because her dog had a leg amputated earlier that day, and had consumed alcohol to calm her down.
RAC head member of Advocacy, Matt Brown, said Ms Corson’s case showed tougher penalties for drink-driving were needed.
“This highlights the need for the government to move quickly and get the proposed tougher penalties through Parliament and into force,” he said.
In November last year, Police Minister Rob Johnson introduced new legislation for tougher drink-driving penalties.
“Drink and drug drivers do not belong on our roads,” Mr Johnson said.
“The aim of the new penalties is to deter all motorists from offending or re-offending, for the safety of everyone on our roads.
“However, the Government can only do so much.
“People need to change their driving attitudes and drive responsibly if we are to make WA roads safer.”
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