Drunk mum flips car on way to pick up kid for school
A BEACONSFIELD mum was more than five times the legal alcohol limit when she swerved across four lanes of busy highway traffic - narrowly missing joggers and a motorcyclist - smashed through a barrier and rolled down an embankment on her way to pick up her son for school.
Repeat drink driver Patricia Elizabeth McIvor, 39, registered 0.255 BAC after the crash on June 21, which followed a drinking session at a friend's house.
McIvor avoided jail when she fronted Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to driving under the influence, represented by solicitor Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi, of Wallace & Wallace Lawyers.
Prosecutor Anna Ellis said the crash occurred on the corner of the Bruce Highway and Nebo Road, Mackay - "a major, busy T-intersection".
"On attendance (at 5.45am), police observed a white Jeep at the bottom of an incline beside the Bruce Hwy," she said.
"A metal barrier that runs alongside the road was broken and parts of the vehicle were scattered around ... Police approached the vehicle and observed the defendant to be surrounded by paramedics."
McIvor was slurring heavily and unable to stand.
"Police detected the smell of liquor emanating from the defendant and the vehicle and observed a 700ml bottle of Cougar bourbon with a small amount of liquid in the bottom of it," Ms Ellis said.
"[One witness] stated that he observed the vehicle travelling fast, heading northbound on Nebo Rd.
"He observed the vehicle's headlights to be off and that the vehicle failed to negotiate a slight left-hand turn.
"He said the vehicle went over a small grassy traffic island, across two lanes of traffic, over another small grassy island and through another two lanes of traffic. He observed the vehicle mount a third curb, before breaking through the metal barrier... the vehicle travelled approximately 5m over an embankment and rolled before coming to a stop... "
Witnesses reported the near misses.
Ms Adorni-Braccesi described McIvor as an unemployed single mum, adding the facts were not disputed.
McIvor had been "using alcohol as a coping mechanism" in the face of her mum's undisclosed terminal illness.
After the crash, McIvor sought help for her issues with alcohol, and Ms Adorni-Braccesi said McIvor's timely plea indicated remorse.
Magistrate Scott Luxton said it was "somewhat chilling" McIvor had been on the way to pick up her son.
He noted a lower range drink driving conviction from 2016 and said McIvor's offending was "escalating".
Still, he found the new charge "out of character", sentenced McIvor to two years probation and disqualified her licence for two years.
McIvor was ordered to pay the Department of Transport and Main Roads $4148 for the barrier.