Mum blows .23%

A MUM who hooned along Walker St with her young son in the back seat while almost five times over the legal drink-drive limit has walked free from court on probation.

Michelle Renee Behrendorff, 27, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday to dangerous driving while drunk.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Hayley Glover told the court that just before 10pm on August 19, Behrendorff was spotted in the rear vision mirror of another motorist, driving with her lights on high beam and swerving in and out of lanes.

Snr Const Glover said the defendant's driving had caused other drivers to veer off the road to avoid colliding with her, and Behrendorff had continued to drive in the wrong lane before "going up on two wheels at one point".

"The informant dialled 000 and pulled over to allow the defendant to pass," she said.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts was told Behrendorff was seen getting out of her car and was "unsteady on her feet" before taking her five-year-old son out of the back passenger seat.

She returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.23% and was later charged.

"Clearly the defendant has a problem with drinking," Snr Const Glover said.

"(It is) extreme luck the defendant didn't kill someone on this occasion."

Defence lawyer Matt Messenger said alcohol intake had been a problem for the single mother.

"With the great shock with what's gone on, she has taken some fairly dramatic steps," he said.

Mr Messenger said Behrendorff was a "fairly high-functioning" person, and had attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Service since the incident.

"She's not just sitting back and saying, 'poor me'," he said.

Mr Messenger said his client was in her first year of a psychology degree at CQUniversity.

"She is a well-respected employee in respite care," he said.

The magistrate said she took into account Behrendorff's early plea, but highlighted the seriousness of the offence.

"You drove erratically and dangerously, to the (blood-alcohol) level of 0.23%," Ms Batts said.

"It's really hard to make this more dreadful than it is."

The magistrate took into account comparable court cases before disqualifying Behrendorff from driving for two years, and placed her on 16 months probation.



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