Brenda Strong

Parents caught drink-driving with children in the car

A FATHER of three said he "felt fine" enough to drive his children to school the morning after a drinking session the night before.

He wasn't.

Dainson Castree was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit when Northern Beaches police officers pulled him over in a school zone about 8.10am on October 10 this year.

Mackay Road Police Unit officer in charge Senior Sergeant Richard Turner said unfortunately it wasn't uncommon for parents to be caught for drink-driving while they had their kids in the car.

Castree had a blood alcohol concentrate of 0.137% while driving his three children aged 15, 13 and eight, the Mackay Magistrates Court was told.

He told officers he'd had about 13 full strength beers and ciders between 5pm and 2am the night before, prosecutor Michael Ball said.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said it was concerning Castree was almost three times the limit and thought he was okay to be driving.

Castree pleaded guilty to mid-range drink-driving.

The court was told his actions were "out of character", which was reflected by his lack of traffic history.

He was fined $1060 and disqualified from driving for nine months.

Susan May Allen faced court in September for high-range drink-driving.

The 46-year-old was driving with two six-year-old children in the vehicle when she was stopped at the corner of Milton and Shakespeare Sts on August 15. Her blood alcohol reading was 0.259%, five times the legal limit.

After pleading guilty she was fined $750, placed on 12 months probation and disqualified from driving for 10 months.

Luck is all that prevents an injury crash from being a fatal crash, Snr Sgt Turner said.

"And anyone affected by alcohol on the road is dangerous," he said.

There could often be an escalation in risk taking with drink-drivers, Snr Sgt Turner warned.

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