Paralytic, apologetic

By MADELEINE DOHERTY

JANET Ann Carkery figured she had made a big mistake when she found herself at the wheel of her car upside down.

Her fears were confirmed when police found the 30-year old in her overturned vehicle on Terranora Road, with blood-shot, glazed eyes and her breath smelling of alcohol.

Carkery was extremely apologetic as she pleaded guilty in Tweed Local Court yesterday to a high range PCA reading.

The court heard police came across Carkery in her car back in May and a breath test confirmed she had a blood alcohol reading of .269.

"I made a really big mistake and I'm lucky I didn't hurt anyone," a distressed Carkery told Magistrate Jeff Linden.

The court heard that Carkery had been been drinking at a friend's place before driving.

Travelling west along Terranora Road, she failed to negotiate a left hand bend when the car hit a steep embankment, then flipped on to its roof and slid a further 20 metres along the road.

Carkery had no recollection of anything prior to the crash, "only waking up to find her self upside down holding the steering wheel."

Magistrate Jeff Linden said it was a "staggering alcohol reading and absolutely dreadful driving."

Mr Linden described Carkery's condition as "paralytic."

In defence of Carkery he said her 12-year-driving record was unblemished until this incident.

Carkery was placed on a two year good behaviour bond, fined $400 with $67 court costs and disqualified from driving for 18 months.

The incident is the latest in a long run of drink driving incidents which continue to plagued Tweed roads.

Tweed-Byron police chief, Superintendent Michael Kenny, said statistics showed the area under his command had the worst drink-driving offences record in NSW in four of the past five years.

The area, Supt Kenny said, also had one of the state's worst alcohol-related crash records.

"It is therefore incumbent on us to address this problem with every measure at our disposal," he said.

Supt Kenny was a vocal supporter of last month's emergency forum called by the Daily News to discuss ways to reduce the amount of drink drivers on our roads. The forum resulted in the DriveSmart campaign, with local authorities including Supt Kenny, Magistrate Linden, Tweed MP Neville Newell, Federal MP Justine Elliot, Tweed Shire Council road safety officer Ray Clark joining the Daily News to try and solve this growing problem.



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