Newcastle woman fined for reoffending drink driving

A 54-year-old Newcastle woman was fined a total of $1800 for drink driving offences this morning at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Anne Hankey pleaded guilty to the charges of driving while suspended and drink driving.

“I was aware my licence had been cancelled when I was stopped by police,” Hankey said. “I realise how ridiculous my behaviour was.”

Police pulled over Hankey for “driving slowly” in April and asked her to provide a breathalyser sample.

The sample showed a blood-alcohol reading of 0.155.

A psychologist’s letter provided to the Magistrate said Hankey had “mental health issues” at the time of the offence as a result of “prolonged domestic abuse” from a former partner.

“My medical and psychological issues don’t authorise my actions in any way,” Hankey said. “But it does help to contextualise my behaviour.”

Hankey said she now has a restraining order against her former partner and is looking to start a new life in Newcastle with her daughter and son-in-law.

Magistrate Martin said he accepts domestic abuse and mental health issues influenced Hankey’s actions on the night of the offence.

“I also accept there were no aggravating circumstances in your driving,” Magistrate Martin said. “But your request for no conviction is out of the question”.

Magistrate Martin said drink driving is a “very prevalent offence” and reoffending is “unacceptable”.

“It is aggravating you were driving while disqualified for a previous drink driving offence,” Magistrate Martin said. “Your intention to move interstate and gain support from family means a fine will suffice.”

Hankey has until July 6, 2016 to pay the fines.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

(Written on 7/10/15)

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