Driven to fall foul of laws

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Tracey Anne Strachan, 48, was fined in Bunbury Magistrates Court last week.
Camera IconTracey Anne Strachan, 48, was fined in Bunbury Magistrates Court last week. Credit: South Western Times

A Bunbury woman who was driving a taxi with alcohol in her system and with a passenger in the car, despite not being qualified or even having a driver’s licence has been fined $1800.

Tracey Anne Strachan, 48, was stopped by police on Parade Road, Dalyellup about 12.30am on January 8 when a roadside test discovered she had a blood alcohol reading of 0.017.

Taxi drivers have a zero alcohol limit.

Police also discovered, Strachan was not a qualified taxi driver and her driver’s licence had been suspended due to demerit points about two weeks earlier.

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Strachan appeared in Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Thursday when she pleaded guilty to one count each of driving a taxi while not being licensed to do so, being a driver who exceeded a zero blood alcohol content and two counts of having no authority to drive.

The court was told Strachan was also stopped for a random breath test in Withers on January 14, again while not having a licence.

Duty lawyer Kathryn Flanagan said Strachan and her partner were going through some financial pressures at the time of the incidents and were forced to move house.

Ms Flanagan said Strachan did not notify the Department of Transport and was unaware her licence had been suspended.

She also said Strachan was offered a taxi driving job by a friend and accepted because of her financial situation.

Further, Strachan had lent her car to a friend who left the vehicle in Withers and because she did not want to leave her car in the suburb overnight, she was driving it home when she was caught the second time.

Ms Flanagan said Strachan had previously completed a drug and alcohol intervention program which had been “beneficial” and had since sold her car.

She said the taxi had also been impounded and the owner of the vehicle was pursuing Strachan for fees.

Magistrate Belinda Coleman said she accepted Strachan was under financial stress at the time.

Magistrate Coleman also acknowledged Strachan was paying for the impound fees and the alcohol reading was “very low”.

Strachan was fined $1800 plus costs and had her licence disqualified for 18 months.

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