A WOMAN drank four bottles of wine in an early morning, three-hour session before blowing .423 on the breathalyser, a Geelong court has heard.
Ruth Spychella, of Clifton Springs, was so drunk she had to be carried to an ambulance after she slammed her car into an off-duty policeman’s parked car about 11.30am, the Geelong Magistrates’ Court was told on Thursday.
A shocked magistrate Ann McGarvie said it was the highest reading she had ever come across in a living person.
Spychella, 48, of Tarpeena Way, pleaded guilty to exceeding .05 and careless driving.
The police prosecutor, Leading Senior Constable Kerrie Moroney, said police were called to a two-car incident in Clifton Springs on July 24.
Sen-Constable Moroney said: “Spychella was driving north on Beacon Point Rd when she turned right into Camberwarra Ave, crossed on to the wrong side, mounted the kerb and collided head-on with a legally parked car.
“When police arrived Spychella was still in the driver’s seat, smelled strongly of alcohol and was slurring her words.
“She needed help to get out of her car and had to be carried to the ambulance.”
The prosecutor said Spychella was taken to Geelong hospital where a blood test produced a reading of .423 per cent.
“She told police she had started drinking about 8.30am on the day of the collision and could easily have drank four bottles of wine before driving,” Sen-Constable Moroney said.
“She did not recall driving along Beacon Point Rd or turning into Camberwarra Ave.”
Richard Concha, defence counsel for Spychella, said the reading was shockingly high.
“I don’t know how she was alive, let alone able to move,” he said.
Mr Concha said Spychella had been dealing with alcohol and anxiety issues for 13 years and that, since the crash, she had undergone rehabilitation and was getting help for her problems.
The court was told she had previously appeared in court for careless driving and failing to stop after a collision.
Spychella was convicted on both counts.
Ms McGarvie placed her on a two-year community corrections order with 120 hours of unpaid community work.
She also ordered Spychella to be assessed and treated for alcoholism and mental health issues.
She was also ordered to attend a Road Trauma Awareness Course and was disqualified from driving for two years.
Originally published as Driver’s four bottles of wine before lunch