A Ballarat magistrate has warned of the effects of methylamphetamine on the community after a woman was caught drug-driving.
Sharelle Dixon faced the Ballarat Magistrates Court last week and pleaded guilty to shop theft, drug-driving and driving while suspended.
The court was told the Ballarat woman had used the drug ice "from time-to-time to cope with stressful circumstances".
Magistrate Ron Saines told Dixon it was her choice to use the drug.
"I am sure you have seen in the community how it has trashed people's lives and hurt children and families," Mr Saines said.
"Unless you leave that behind you, you will be at risk of having your children taken from you and at risk of imprisonment."
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Ben Jones said Dixon was driving a blue Toyota sedan along Cedar Drive in Ballarat at 8.15pm on December 11 when police stopped her.
He said methylamphetamine was detected in her oral fluid after she was tested. She told police she had taken the drug over the weekend.
Two weeks later on December 28, police intercepted Dixon driving in the Stockland Wendouree car park.
The court was told her driver's licence had been suspended, which Dixon "didn't realise".
Senior Constable Jones said in Dixon's most recent offending, she stole $100 worth of groceries from the Coles supermarket in Eastwood Street on May 26.
She told police after she was arrested she stole the items "just to survive, unfortunately".
Dixon's offending broke a 12-month good behaviour bond.
The court was told Dixon had two children with autism, had experienced a difficult childhood and suffered post traumatic stress disorder.
The magistrate ordered Dixon complete 60 hours of unpaid community work over 12 months, disqualified her from driving for 12 months and fined her $200 with conviction.
Dixon's good behavour bond was cancelled and she was placed on a new 12-month bond.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.