A woman caught driving with her young child in the car while she had a blood alcohol reading five times the legal limit - only hours after being convicted of low range drink-driving - has been sentenced to a maximum of nine months in jail.
Caroline Ashthore Throwden received the prison sentence in Raymond Terrace local court on Monday for the high range drink-driving conviction - second offence - as well as a $600 fine for low range drink-driving.
According to court documents, Throwden had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.252 when police approached her outside a school at Salamander Bay about 4.30pm on March 11.
The Nelson Bay woman had driven her two-year-old son to the school to pick up her six-year-old daughter, but teachers called police because they believed Throwden was intoxicated.
Read more: Hunter mum blew 0.252 on the school run
The statement of police facts said the 30-year-old smelt strongly of alcohol, was a little unsteady on her feet, the whites of her eyes appeared bloodshot and her speech was slurred.
She told police she had driven to the school but planned to walk home with her children.
In the statement of facts, police said her extremely high blood alcohol reading while driving in medium-to-heavy traffic at a time of day when school was finishing had the potential for a catastrophic outcome and was a high risk of causing serious injury.
It was later revealed that only three hours before being arrested at the school, Throwden received a three month license disqualification and a 12 month good behaviour bond at Raymond Terrace local court for low range drink-driving.
Read more: Police and court news
Throwden pleaded guilty to high range drink-driving when she faced court on April 1.
The Herald reported at the time that Throwden's conviction in the hours before her high range drink-driving offence had not made it into the system by the time police approached her on the afternoon of March 11 and that the discrepancy was not discovered until after her first appearance in court.
There had been some discussion as to whether the high range drink-driving matter should constitute a second offence and it was ultimately deemed appropriate to do so.
In April, Magistrate Brett Shields flagged the likelihood that Throwden was facing a custodial sentence.
On Monday, he ordered that her sentence begin that day and include a non parole period of six months and 22 days.
Throwden was also given a nine month disqualification from driving - though she will serve the bulk of that while she is in prison. She will be eligible for release on December 4 this year, at the earliest.
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