A magistrate has warned a woman who was caught drug-driving with her children unrestrained in the car she would have to make some 'big changes' in her life.
Tinarra Micallef pleaded guilty to more than 30 charges at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Monday and was sentenced on Tuesday.
The charges included drug-driving, careless driving and failing to ensure passengers were in a suitable restraint.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac told the court Micallef was intercepted in Delacombe in September 2018 after police detected false plates on her car.
It was found she was driving an unregistered vehicle without an alcohol interlock or P plates, with four children in the back seat, two unrestrained and sharing a seat.
An analysis of an oral fluid test showed the presence of methamphetamine and cannabis.
The court heard police saw Micallef driving on Hertford Street in Sebastopol on January 11 2019 with false number plates.
When intercepted it was found she was driving an unregistered car, with no P plates and no interlock device and her seven and five-year-old children were not restrained properly.
An oral fluid test showed the presence of methamphetamine and cannabis.
Micallef was also pulled over by police on January 12.
Senior Constable Repac said she was driving the same car on Albert Street in Sebastopol when police activated their lights and sirens.
She sped away from police and lost control, causing minor damage, before continuing to her home.
A similar scenario occurred on March 15 and the court heard Micallef had also failed to answer bail.
Defence lawyer Andrew Madden made a submission to the court a community corrections order was adequate to deal with this offending.
Magistrate Noreen Toohey questioned what was leading to the offending.
Mr Madden said the past two years had been particularly difficult for Micallef with drug use.
Has she no regard for children at all? Does she not know what the risks are of driving in this way?Magistrate Noreen Toohey
"I think she really does need to take stock of her life because it appears she is spiralling out of control.
"It seems to me she has many many reasons why she should engage with a community corrections order to get her life back on track."
Micallef was sentenced to a 15 month community corrections order with a requirement she engage with drug treatment and rehabilitation.
"Because you pleaded guilty you have shown remorse, you are sorry for what you have done," Ms Toohey said.
"You need to make some big changes in your life for your children. You have a responsibility to be a role model to your children as they grow up."
Micallef was suspended from driving for 12 months.
She will return to court for judicial monitoring before Ms Toohey in March.
"I hope I will get a good report that you are making some big changes," Ms Toohey said.
"The risk for you now is enormous. If you come back on a drive whilst disqualified you will serve a term of imprisonment."
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