Jail for drink-drive mum

Last updated 15:47 14/05/2009
FAIRFAX MEDIA
SENT TO THE CELLS: Rachael Brown was seen drinking wine outside court and was too drunk to sentence on her eighth drink-driving offence.

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A Rotorua woman on her eighth drink-driving offence has been sentenced to a year in prison after being caught drink-driving while heavily pregnant.

Rachael Brown, 38, was seven months pregnant when she was arrested last July after dodging a checkpoint on Rotorua's Edmund Rd.

She recorded a breath alcohol reading of 994 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath - nearly 2 1/2 times the legal limit.

Brown was due for sentencing in Rotorua District Court yesterday but her case was stood down because the judge considered her too drunk.

''At least you're now in a position to understand what I'm saying,'' Judge James Weir told  her today.

She was remanded in custody overnight to sober up for sentencing today.

Brown was sentenced on two charges of drink-driving and disqualified driving, the eighth and 15th time respectively that she has been charged with the offences.

Serving jail time for similar past offences had not stopped her offending, he said.

A warrant for her arrest was issued when she failed to turn up in the Rotorua District Court for sentencing yesterday, but police in the area saw Brown near the courthouse and took her back there.

She will have to serve at least six months in jail, and will have special conditions to help her with her alcohol problem when she is released.

Brown has never held a driver's licence and was banned in 2005 from ever having one.

The baby that Brown was pregnant with when she was arrested is in the care of a family member.

- NZPA

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