Drunk woman drove on train tracks

A 57-YEAR-OLD Hervey Bay woman flirted with death when she drove her car along train tracks while more than three times over the legal blood alcohol limit.

A Queensland Rail crew worked for 90 minutes to release the vehicle after it got stuck on the tracks at Torbanlea.

The Hervey Bay Magistrates Court was told that Denise Leanne Newman, from Point Vernon, had driven for 25 metres along the tracks before her car became stuck on the night of March 17.

Newman said she was “deeply sorry” for her actions, which cost her licence for the next 12 months. She was also fined $1000.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell told Newman her actions could have been “absolutely catastrophic”.

He said she had not only put herself but also other road users in danger.

Newman pleaded guilty to drink-driving, having recorded a reading of 0.167.

When police arrived, Newman was asked why she had driven onto the train tracks but could provide no coherent answer, the court was told.

Mr Tatnell said it was lucky a train had not come along.

Newman was one of 11 drivers to face court during the past week charged with high-range drink-driving.

Mr Tatnell, who recently returned to work from a period of leave, said he was astounded that so many drivers were charged with driving under the influence.

“Every second Wednesday in this court I get frustrated,” he said.

“I go away for two months and they (drink-drivers) seem to have increased.

“Unfortunately there have been numerous drink-drivers before the court today and not many low readings.”

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