Drink-driving mum hit bridge

03:43, May 18 2012

Friends failed to stop a high-level drink-driver leaving Waikuku with her two young children in the car - and she soon crashed into a bridge.

The breath-alcohol level recorded for Lynette Carrol Abbott, 39, after the crash was 1373mcg of alcohol to a litre of breath.

The legal limit is 400mcg.

"You were a drunk-driver by any measure," Christchurch District Court Judge Gary MacAskill said at Abbott's sentencing today.

"You put yourself and your children at risk."

Defence counsel Norm Farquhar said the North Canterbury woman was a first offender.


She had been driving for 23 years without even a speeding ticket.

He urged the judge to impose a sentence of supervision and community work. Abbott had already arranged to do community work at a school near her home.

Abbott was appearing for sentence on charges of drink-driving and careless driving.

Judge MacAskill said that on November 24 she had been drinking at a friend's house in Waikuku.

She left at 7.30pm and put her two children in the car.

Friends tried but failed to stop her driving the few kilometres home.

On Waikuku Beach Rd she struck a bridge abutment, and the car came to rest in the middle of the road.

The charges do not refer to anyone being injured in the crash.

Judge MacAskill said the alcohol level was very high - more than three times the legal limit.

The pre-sentence report showed it was completely out of character and Abbott was very remorseful.

She showed no harmful pattern of alcohol or drug use, and suffered from depression and anxiety.

He ordered her to do 120 hours of community work, released her under supervision for nine months, and disqualified her from driving for ten months.

He also ordered her to undergo a driver safety programme.

The Press