Mother jailed for driving drunk with baby, toddler in car

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MOTHER has been sent to prison after driving drunk with her baby and a toddler in the car.

Facing her seventh driving without a licence charge, Rikki Lee Hana Tenana also failed to ensure her 10-month old baby was properly restrained in a child car seat.

When she was picked up driving in Leda by police she gave a blood alcohol reading of 0.164 and gave police a false name.

She faced several other charges from earlier dates that included driving without a licence and failing to ensure a passenger under 16 wore a seatbelt.

The duty lawyer said Tenana was “feeling extremely sorry and realised the danger she had put her family and the public in”.

“She had no intention to drive but her sister got her out of her bed to chase after her sister’s partner, who had taken their children,” she said.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins interjected.

“You expect me to accept that with a reading of 0.164 that she did not realise she was alcohol affected?” she said.

“She must have had her brain into gear as she gave a false name.

“She was driving again without a licence and had a two-year old boy and her 10-month-old daughter in the car as well. That is appalling.

“I’m unimpressed that she endangered the little ones.”

Tenana had six children whom the duty lawyer said would be affected by any prison term.

“Earlier that night police had been called to the home due to a domestic incident between her sister and her partner,” she said

The police prosecutor demanded an immediate prison term.

“She drove without a licence for the seventh time, had a high reading and has done so with children in the car,” he said.

Magistrate Atkins looked pained as she took some time to deliberate.

“There is a great need for a penalty that will act as a deterrent to you as you continue to disregard court orders,” she said.

“You put yourself, your family and the public in danger with a reading of 0.164.

“There is also a need for general deterrence for any people who decide to blatantly ignore court orders.

“Prison is the only appropriate penalty and your personal circumstance and that of your children are less important than that of the community’s safety.”

Wiping away tears, Tenana was taken into custody.

She received nine months with parole, a 37-month driving disqualification and was fined $1600.