Learner driver blew 0.232

A MOTHER was caught driving a car in the mid-morning with an alcohol reading almost five times the legal limit.

Police were called to Lowood Medical Centre about 10.45am after a witness saw a heavily intoxicated woman driving out of the car park.

A concerned member of the public provided a registration plate number and Felicity Ann Koffal was caught driving a short time later.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Koffal, who has never held more than a learner's permit, was breathalysed and recorded 0.232.

Koffal, 26, told the court she had tried to pass her learner's test in the past but failed. Her permit had expired when she was pulled over on September 14.

Koffal, a mother-of-two, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of liquor and driving unlicensed. She was fined $1500 and disqualified from getting a licence for 15 months.

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin told Koffal she was a danger on the road with such an “extremely high reading”.

“It's well and truly drunk and anybody driving around at that level is really an accident waiting to happen,” Mr McLaughlin said.

“Obviously someone was worried enough about your driving to call the police.

“People shouldn't have to share the road with people at 0.232 – that's pretty scary stuff and it deserves a pretty significant penalty.”

Mr McLaughlin urged Koffal, who has a limited prior traffic history, not to give up on the learner's test.

“It's a bit disappointing that you're a lady of 26 years and you've never had anything other than a learner's permit,” he said.

“You need to go and get one and failing the test is really no excuse because lots of people fail and go back. You've got to keep trying.”



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