Drink-driver blames dog for crash

DRIVING with a pet dog on your lap is dangerous enough without the driver being drunk.

So it is not surprising that drink-driver Raylene Marie Danby lost control and rolled her car as a result of these two factors.

What is surprising is that she was not killed.

That is what the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard when Danby pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without due care.

The 40-year-old returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.158 after her car swerved off a Dundowran road, rolled several times and landed in a ditch.

Witnesses called police, who arrived and found Danby’s car in the ditch and her lying beside the vehicle being treated by paramedics.

Her small dog was still inside the badly damaged car.

Police interviewed Danby at the Hervey Bay Hospital where she had been taken by ambulance.

She appeared intoxicated, so they ordered a blood test.

Danby admitted to police she had been distracted by the dog as she was driving, prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll told the court.

Her dog had been sitting around her neck and when she tried to move it, she accidentally pulled down on the steering wheel, causing her to lose control of the vehicle and run off the road.

“She’s very lucky to still be here with us,” Sgt Stagoll said.

Danby pleaded guilty to the two charges but did not say anything else about the matter.

She was fined $1200.

Magistrate Tom Killeen also disqualified her from driving for the next 12 months.

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