Woman, 53, loses licence after drink-driving

A BALLARAT woman admitted to police she had been “a stupid idiot” when she drove without a licence after consuming at least 10 glasses of fortified wine, a court heard yesterday.

Gwynneth Brereton, 53, told police she had consumed “about 10 glasses of port” after a preliminary breath test returned a result of .168 on September 6 last year, Ballarat Magistrates Court heard. 

Brereton, who was also driving with a suspended licence, pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving and drink-driving.

Magistrate Cynthia Toose slammed the offending, saying that coupled with a “concerning” and similar prior history, Brereton showed “total irresponsibility” on the roads.

“As she said, she was a stupid idiot,” Ms Toose said while sentencing. “She shouldn’t be on the road.”

Detailing the offending to the court, police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said Brereton produced a licence that had expired in March, 2013, before telling police she had been drinking port mixed with water.

Senior Constable Prebble said Brereton told police she was aware she was over the legal alcohol limit and knew she should not be driving, before admitting how many drinks she had ingested. 

Brereton’s defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client had a history of making “ordinary” decisions when driving, yet said Brereton had not offended for some time.

Mr Tamanika said Brereton decided to drive on the night in order to find her 17-year-old son, who had run off following a fight with another family member.

“She doesn’t say she is a frequent drinker,” Mr Tamanika said.

Brereton was fined $1000 and her licence has been disqualified for 16 months.