‘It was Anzac Day...police were watching people come out of pubs’, defendant told in Mudgee Local Court

A woman charged with drink driving at nearly four times the legal limit, was told her chances of being caught increased because she did so on Anzac Day.

Christine Albee, aged 32, of Brewers Lane, St Fillans, was fined $1500 and disqualified for six months followed by a 24-month interlock period, when she was sentenced in Mudgee Local Court last Wednesday.

At about 10.30pm on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, police were patrolling the Mudgee CBD when they saw her vehicle leave the Coles carpark in Mortimer Street.

They followed and stopped her vehicle in Lewis Street, where a roadside breath test was positive for alcohol.

Albee was taken to Mudgee Police Station where she recorded a breath analysis of 0.194 and charged with high range drink driving.

She told officers she had around six drinks between 1 and 9.20pm, stopping for an hour before getting into the car.

Her solicitor, Richard Wise, told the court that his client was drinking on Anzac Day for the first time in 14 months and only drove after her lift fell through – hence the gap between her last drink and getting behind the wheel.

He went on to say “it was a random breath test and there was nothing in her manner of driving”.

When Magistrate Day interjected, “no, police were watching people come out of licenced premises”.

His Honour said that given the extra police attention on the public holiday there was an inevitability to Albee getting caught. And added with a reading as high as this it was “fortunate” that she was stopped.

“Anzac Day, where sadly we see matters fill the court,” he said. “She decided to drive home when she must’ve known [she was affected].”