Mum six times over limit with kids in car avoids jail time

A SUNSHINE Coast mother has escaped jail narrowly after being caught more than six times over the alcohol limit with her three young children in her car.

Rachel Lyn Salter was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle after witnesses reported her driving erratically near a McDonald's restaurant on Nicklin Way in December, 2012.

A breath test returned a shocking reading of 0.306 - six times over the legal limit.

Police found her three young boys - aged seven, five and three - with her in the car.

Ms Salter was sentenced yesterday after earlier pleading guilty in Maroochydore District Court.

"The circumstances of your offending clearly was quite serious," Judge Gary Long said.

"In particular, you had three young children - your children, who were with you for contact at the time - in your vehicle.

"It is fortunate that no great harm - or no harm at all - was caused to any person or property."

Ms Salter, 27, had had a minor crash as she reversed the car out of a driveway on the way to get dinner for the children.

"That should have been evidence to you that you should put the vehicle straight back in the yard and not drive."

The court heard Ms Salter suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a vehicle as a nine-year-old and had suffered learning difficulties ever since. She started drinking heavily as a 16-year-old.

Judge Long sentenced her to 12 months' jail, to be served in the community with strict conditions.

She was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Her ex-husband said the decision was closure of sorts, adding his primary concern was the care of his children.



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