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Drunk learner driver's stupid act

Bundaberg Court House
Bundaberg Court House Mike Knott

A 20-YEAR-OLD learner driver who hit a pedestrian while drink-driving at more than three times the legal limit has narrowly avoided a stay in jail.

Samantha Lee Scott, 20, of Bundaberg, was drink-driving with a car full of friends on June 15 last year after a State of Origin game when she swerved into car parks on Ann St, East Bundaberg, where three people were walking.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens told Bundaberg Magistrates Court that while two of the pedestrians ran towards the footpath, the victim ran towards the middle of the road and was seen to jump into the air prior to being hit by the Mazda sedan.

"The victim got to his feet and ran from the area," Sgt Stevens said.

The court was told the man jumped in the air right before he was hit and it was unclear whether he did this to avoid being run over or if it was some sort of "Jackass-type behaviour".

"A passenger of the vehicle has driven the vehicle back to the unit complex (on Ann St where it had come from)," Sgt Stevens said.

At the unit, police found Scott, who had a blood-alcohol level of .176%, hiding in a bedroom under linen.

"The person who was struck sustained no serious injuries, fortunately for everyone involved," the prosecutor said.

Lawyer Matt Messenger said Scott knew very well how lucky she was that the man was not killed or seriously injured in the crash.

"There are so many stupid aspects to what my client has been involved in - that's conceded," he said.

"It was such an incredibly stupid and unnecessary journey."

Mr Messenger said unlike many cases of young people drink-driving, high speeds were not involved.

The lawyer said it appeared the victim was engaging in behaviour similar to that seen in the Jackass movies and television shows.

"Obviously the other parties were affected by alcohol," he said.

Magistrate John Smith said if it were not for her permanent job in a local cafe, the young woman would have gone to jail.

"You need to walk out of this courtroom today and give some thoughts to the consequences of your actions," he said.

"An event like this can change lives."

Scott was fined a total of $2000 for the three offences to which she pleaded guilty, including driving without due care and attention and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The woman was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Topics:  drunk driver learner driver pedestrian



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