Woman blows .219 as stats reveal surprising trend
GAIL Ruth Driver's marriage was breaking down and her relationship with her daughter was strained when she made a stupid decision.
Driver got behind the wheel of a car and drove under the influence of alcohol.
When police caught her she returned a blood alcohol reading of .219 - more than four times the legal limit.
New data shows Bundaberg has one of the highest rates of female drink-drivers in Queensland. Exclusive police data show the region's cops handed out 260 driving under the influence tickets in Bundaberg over the past two financial years, with nearly one of every four offenders female.
It's the fifth highest level of the 13 major centres analysed across the state.
Appearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday, Driver pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving after she was pulled over for a roadside breath test on Lowmead Rd last month.
The court heard she had an extensive traffic history.
In October 2015 she was sentenced to nine months in prison but granted immediate parole for the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Her history also included a number of drink-driving related offences from 2008 and 2006.
While the high-range DUI charge was concerning, defence lawyer Matt Messenger said the charges at this time did not involve reckless driving.
"There was no issue with the manner of her driving here," Mr Messenger said.
"She shouldn't have been behind the wheel, but there was no dangerous driving."
Mr Messenger said his client was going through emotional hardship with the breakdown of her marriage and estranged relationship with her daughter, which had all exacerbated her problem with alcohol.
Acting Magistrate Neil Lavaring assured Driver that any offending in the next two years would see her serve a time in prison. Mr Lavaring sentenced her to two months in prison, wholly suspended for two years.
Road trauma expert Professor Kerry Armstrong said "sociological factors" meant women were more at risk of drinking and driving now than in the past.
"The numbers are likely to be increasing because women are more likely to have access to their own money and they often live in multi-vehicle households so they are more mobile," said the research fellow at QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety.
"And part of it is that women may be inadvertently caught out early in the morning after drinking as they take kids to school or other activities."
The Queensland Government will spend $1.765 billion this financial year on alcohol, drug and mental health services across the state.