Drunk driver headed home to let Thomas the cat in

IT was a Melbourne Cup day schmozzle that Kerri-Ann Tonges was reluctantly reminded of when she appeared before an Ipswich magistrate.

Police pounced on a drunken Tonges as she tried to drive home to her pet cat Thomas, who'd been left outside while she celebrated race day, the court was told.

Tonges then gripped the steering wheel while officers tried to remove her from the car.

The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to obstructing police, and being in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said police had been called to a unit in Brassall just before 6pm on Tuesday, November 7 last year and spoke to Tonges, who was swearing loudly at other people and the police officers.

Bystanders told police they had been drinking for the Melbourne Cup.

With her speech slurred and telling police she had been having an argument because she'd been drinking, Tonges stood up and then bumped into furniture.

Sgt Caldwell said officers told the others present to ensure that Tonges did not drive, but as they walked away they heard a jangling of keys.

Tonges had the keys in her hand and was seen being restrained by others before walking towards a parked Holden Vectra.

"Officers told her don't get into the car. She was staggering as she walked and said f**k off," Sgt Caldwell said.

Tonges opened the door and sat in the car but police grabbed her keys before she could start it.

She was charged and breath-tested - returning an alcohol reading of 0.146.

Tonges told police she drank three and a half glasses of wine at a club and had taken medication.

"She told officers she had a pet cat Thomas locked outside and needed to drive home to let him in," Sgt Caldwell said.

"She was sitting in the front car seat and was told she was under arrest, but held onto the steering wheel."

Defence lawyer Yassar Khan said Tonges was not usually a drinker and "has no recollection of events, and is very embarrassed".

"She is grateful she was stopped that day," Mr Khan said.

Magistrate Louisa Pink told Tonges that attempting to get behind the wheel of a car with such an alcohol level meant she was clearly a danger to others and to herself.

Tonges was convicted and fined $1200, and disqualified for four months.

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