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Woman gets five year driving ban

A Devonshire woman was today banned from driving for five years after admitting driving while impaired and driving away from a Halloween day collision. Melissa Ray, 42, pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and leaving the scene of an accident, but pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and using offensive words during the same incident. While the court heard she has several previous convictions for driving while impaired, she told the court that she hadn’t been drinking. Instead, she said she had taken prescription sleeping pills and had not realised the reaction they would have. Crown counsel Nicole Smith told Magistrates’ Court that at around 10.15pm last night, the defendant’s car crashed into another car on Middle Road near Chaingate Hill. Instead of stopping, Ray pulled away and continued to her Margarita Lane home. The driver of the second vehicle, Jessica Robertson, followed her, parking behind her and calling the police. Ray then allegedly confronted Ms Robertson, slamming a car door into her knees, pushing her and pulling her hair. When police arrived on scene, Ray had entered her home and did not respond to requests to open the door. Officers forced the door open and found Ray in her bed and smelling of alcohol. During her arrest, Ray is alleged to have repeatedly sworn at the officers, calling them “f***ing idiots.” Appearing in court in police custody this morning, Ray begged not to be sent to prison, saying she was getting help and following the court’s instructions. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner warned Ray that if she continued to drive while impaired, it was only a matter of time before she killed someone. He sentenced her to six months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and banned her from driving all vehicles for five years for driving impaired. He further fined her at total of $2,000 for impaired driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Regarding the charges of assault and using offensive words, Mr Warner adjourned the matter for trial in January.