Paramedic Zara Renee Tuffin leaves Mackay Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to driving while almost twice the limit.
Paramedic Zara Renee Tuffin leaves Mackay Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to driving while almost twice the limit.

Drink-driving ambo banned from roads but keeps job

A MACKAY paramedic busted for drink-driving claims her employer would not support a work licence application "because it doesn't look good for the service".

Zara Renee Tuffin was behind the wheel while almost twice the legal limit when her boyfriend yanked the handbrake during a heated argument, causing the vehicle to crash down a gully and through a road sign.

"We all make mistakes, your honour," the 22 year old, representing herself, said.

"And we have to accept the consequences of those mistakes," Magistrate Damien Dwyer told her.

Tuffin was disqualified from driving for four months, but eligible to apply for a work licence.

But Mackay Magistrates Court heard her employer, Queensland Ambulance Service, would not provide an affidavit for the application.

Tuffin told the court it was "because it doesn't look good for the service".

"I've been an ambo for seven months and I can appreciate that I guess but I was pretty disappointed," she said, adding she would not be sacked.

"I essentially have to take leave without pay for that whole time."

Zohar Kira Lupis Isaacson and his girlfriend Zara Renee Tuffin both faced Mackay Magistrates Court on different charges stemming from a crash on Mackay Bucasia Rd.
Zohar Kira Lupis Isaacson and his girlfriend Zara Renee Tuffin both faced Mackay Magistrates Court on different charges stemming from a crash on Mackay Bucasia Rd.

The Daily Mercury contacted QAS about whether the organisation refused to supply an affidavit for a work licence and as well as the usual protocols.

A QAS spokesman said the offering of a work licence was a decision made solely by the court.

"Queensland Ambulance will continue to support our officer through this private matter and will not be making further comment," he said.

Tuffin has pleaded guilty to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.098 per cent, while her partner Zohar Kira Lupis Isaacson pleaded guilty to interfering with the driver's control of the vehicle.

Prosecutor Madison Kurtz said police were called to a single vehicle crash on Mackay Bucasia Rd, 600m north of the Holts Rd roundabout, about 10.30pm on December 6 last year.

The court heard Tuffin had been at her work Christmas party, but drove "because her partner had caused a scene and wanted to leave".

"I never planned to drive. We were arguing," she told the court.

Zohar Kira Lupis Isaacson pleaded guilty to interfering with the driver’s control of the vehicle causing a crash on Mackay Bucasia Rd.
Zohar Kira Lupis Isaacson pleaded guilty to interfering with the driver’s control of the vehicle causing a crash on Mackay Bucasia Rd.

Isaacson, 23, told police the pair were arguing - he said he got jealous of her spending time with two other guys - when the argument became physical "all while the vehicle was in motion".

The court heard his intention in pulling the handbrake "was to stop the vehicle so he could get out".

"After thinking about it he understands that pulling the handbrake could have caused a serious accident but in the moment he didn't," Ms Kurtz said.

Tuffin was also fined $700 and a conviction was not recorded.

Matters against Isaacson were adjourned to early next month so he could complete a defensive driving course.



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