Suspended sentence for drunk driver

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The Bunbury woman was handed a suspended sentence.
Camera IconThe Bunbury woman was handed a suspended sentence. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A Bunbury mother who crashed into a parked car while driving with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit has narrowly avoided jail.

Ella Casey Kuhn, 30, was driving without a licence after it had been suspended due to multiple outstanding fines when she was drunk and crashed into a car on Frankel Street in Carey Park about 7.30am on January 2.

Police attended the crash and breathalysed Kuhn to discover she had a blood alcohol reading of 0.164.

Police impounded her car.

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Kuhn appeared in Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and having no authority to drive.

Kuhn also admitted to breaching bail after she failed to show up to court on February 19.

Police arrested Kuhn on Bussell Highway in Dalyellup on Wednesday before she spent the night in custody.

Duty lawyer William Reid said Kuhn had consumed alcohol in excess as a way to deal with family issues and argued while her record did not “do her any favours”, the offence could be dealt with by a fine.

Mr Reid said Kuhn knew she was lucky she had not hurt herself or others and accepted the consequences were “only going to get more serious” if she continued to drive.

Magistrate Evan Shackleton said his concern was “obviously” Kuhn’s record, which included driving with drugs in her system, driving under fines suspension, dangerous driving, failing to provide a breath analysis, and driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08.

Mr Shackleton said Kuhn was someone who should not be in a car and who was “not getting the message”.

He said he was satisfied the seriousness of the offending and the protection of the community proved only a term of imprisonment was appropriate.

Kuhn tried to argue with Magistrate Shackleton to which he responded that Kuhn was someone who did not care what the law was.

But Mr Shackleton took Kuhn’s night in custody into account and said there was “still room for improvement”.

Kuhn was sentenced to seven months prison, suspended for 12 months, was disqualified from driving for another 39 months, and fined $200 plus costs.

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