Dangerous drink-driver avoids jail
A STANTHORPE woman was lucky to escape a jail term yesterday after pleading guilty to her third high-range drink-driving charge in five years, one of which was so high it couldn’t be processed by a breathalyser machine.
Allison Taj Frederiksen had been picked up by Stanthorpe police twice in the last month alone and returned two exceedingly high readings of .407 and .318.
She appeared in the Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday, an hour later than scheduled, after having to be transported to hospital while in custody on Tuesday night.
The 39-year-old mother of two was taken into police custody on Tuesday morning for being drunk and returning a reading of .241 at her court appearance in Stanthorpe, in contravention of a bail condition to stay sober.
The police prosecutor yesterday told the court Frederiksen spent Tuesday night in hospital due to “alcohol-related” illness, however this was disputed by her counsel who said her hospital stay was due to anxiety.
Frederiksen – who was visibly shaking during her court appearance – was heard to have been located by Stanthorpe police on July 8 behind the wheel of her car.
The police prosecutor told the court police detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from Frederiksen.
They attempted to speak to Frederiksen – who it was heard had trouble sitting without her head slumping forward – but her words were so slurred they had trouble comprehending what she was saying.
Police attempted to breathalyse Frederiksen at the time but it was heard the device gave an error reading, saying the specimen provided exceeded the maximum capacity of .4.
A subsequent test returned a reading of .407, more than eight times the legal limit, and medical intervention was sought due to the reading.
Less than two weeks later on July 22 Frederiksen was found seat-belted behind the wheel of her car on the Texas-Stanthorpe Rd.
She told police it wasn’t her but a backpacker who was driving her vehicle but they had run off into the bushes before police arrived.
The police prosecutor said the woman had to be forcibly removed from the vehicle and later returned a reading of .318.
In sentencing Magistrate Thacker told the court the reading of .407 was “one of the highest I have ever seen”.
Despite that conclusion, Magistrate Thacker did not order Frederiksen to serve actual jail time.
Frederiksen was sentenced to 10 and six months concurrent jail terms for the drink driving charges and was convicted but not further punished for her bail breach.
She will serve the 10 months through an intensive correctional order in the community and will be required to adhere to restrictions, including one to abstain from alcohol.
The court heard Frederiksen planned to move to Hervey Bay with her best friend and work alongside him in a Mr Whippy van.