No conviction for 80yo driver

AN 80-year-old Jerrabomberra woman who refused six breath tests is back on the road and has had no conviction recorded against her.

Normafaye Hutton of Stromlo Place pleaded guilty to charges of refusing/failing to submit to a breath analysis and breath test, Queanbeyan Local Court has heard.

Magistrate Chris Bone issued the woman with a two year good behaviour bond after considering her age and good driving record of 62 years. He also took into account the fact she had already been off the road for about three months.

"It's not unique for people of your vintage to come before the court but it is very uncommon. If [the defendant] was 25 then she'd be convicted of this offence and put off the road for 12 months, but she's 80 so she won't be fined and put off the road," he said.

"There's very few people on the planet who decide to commence their criminal career at the age of 80. Most people become reasonably set in their ways by the time they are, say, 30. They don't decide to start going off on crime sprees when they're a more mature age."

Monaro Local Police officers stopped Hutton for a random breath test along Lanyon Drive near Karabar on November 7 at about 3.15pm.

She failed to enter the RBT site and continued to drive, narrowly missing a police officer standing on the roadway.

Officers flagged the car which stopped about 20 metres further down the road.

Police facts allege Hutton failed to follow instructions and provide a sufficient sample of breath for analysis. She was arrested and taken back to Queanbeyan Police Station where she failed further breath tests.

Police said the accused drew short breaths, putting her tongue in front of the tube and blowing air out the side of her mouth and failing to seal her lips around the tube so air would escape resulting in incomplete tests.

Hutton's solicitor Mark Fleming said the reason his client hadn't stopped for police was because she was "stressed and anxious" about the consequences of being caught drink driving.

Hutton had consumed two glasses of white wine with lunch at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club earlier that day according to the police statement.

"She was under a great deal of anxiety and stress; she was embarrassed. She didn't want to fail the test. She didn't want to get caught, she was worried about the consequences," Mr Fleming said.

"In those circumstances she made an error in judgement. She fully accepts responsibility for what she's done. She has been punished already somewhat ... she's had three months off the road."

After attending the police station Hutton went to Queanbeyan District Hospital for a blood test. The results of the test, taken about three hours after she was stopped by police, came back with a reading of 0.059.

Initially pleading non-guilty to the charges, Hutton changed her plea just three days before the hearing after learning the results of the blood test.

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