A Blenheim woman who took the "stupid" decision to drive while more than three times the legal limit admits she could have killed somebody.
Carol Singleton, 47, said she was both ashamed of her actions and thankful she was caught by police.
Mrs Singleton, a caregiver, was caught driving with excess breath alcohol of 1441mcg (legal limit 400 mcg) shortly before 3pm on September 6.
Judge Ian Mill said it was one of the highest levels of blood alcohol he had ever seen.
Judge Mill said it was clear given the amount of alcohol and the time of the offending that Mrs Singleton had a problem with alcohol.
The mother-of-two said she had no excuse for getting behind the wheel that day.
She described how she had read stories about drunk drivers in the past and thought they were idiots.
"I could have easily killed somebody," Mrs Singleton said. "It was stupid but I can't just blame the drink, nobody forced the booze down my throat. That was my own choice. There is no excuse for getting into a car when you have been drinking."
Mrs Singleton said she was driving to a doctor's appointment when she was stopped by police.
She had hurt her back a week earlier after falling down concrete steps in her house. She said she wasn't drunk when she fell, but admitted she had been drinking.
The Blenheim woman started drinking heavily about six months ago but didn't know why, she said.
She was drinking about a litre and a half of wine a day.
"It was just there in the fridge," she said. "I'm just one of those people that can't stop at one. The drinking got gradually worse and you don't realise what you are doing at the time."
Mrs Singleton had started alcohol counselling with Addiction Services at Wairau Hospital before getting caught drink-driving, she said.
"I know what's right and what's wrong when I'm sober but when you have a few drinks everything changes, you don't think straight," she said. "I don't think I realised how bad I was until this happened."
Reading her court story in Tuesday's Marlborough Express prompted Mrs Singleton to pour all the alcohol left in her house down the sink, she said.
Mrs Singleton said she was surprised by how many people, like family and friends, were prepared to support her. "I don't feel like I deserve it."
An apology was also offered to Blenheim police for the trouble she had caused and thanked them for taking away her licence.
Mrs Singleton was fined $1250 plus court costs and disqualified from driving for nine months.
Judge Mill also sentenced her to six months' supervision to complete alcohol and other counselling.
- The Marlborough Express
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