A woman who allegedly blew eight times the legal alcohol limit after crashing her car at a freeway exit in peak-hour traffic would have been physically incapable of driving safely, a medical expert believes.
Other motorists reported the 30-year-old to police after she lost control as she left Kwinana Freeway at Farrington Road and struck a traffic island about 4.15pm on Wednesday.
Police claim one passerby who checked on her suspected she was intoxicated and took the keys of her blue VW Golf before calling authorities.
AMA WA emergency spokesman David Mountain said it was extraordinary that someone could be even “vaguely functional” and able to find their keys with a blood alcohol level of 0.4, which the woman allegedly recorded.
“You’re as close to unconscious as you’re going to be — it is basically acting like a general anaesthetic at that stage,” Dr Mountain said.
“We often see people with those levels who are completely unconscious … and have to be intubated and put on ventilators.
“We do see other people who are tolerant and can still talk and walk at that point.
“But nobody is tolerant enough to be capable of completing any sort of complex activity like driving and certainly not capable of doing it safely.”
Police said another motorist also called about the woman’s driving, claiming they saw the same car being driven erratically in the southbound lanes of the freeway before it crashed.
WA Road Safety Commission director of operations Chris Adams described the woman’s alleged behaviour as “completely unacceptable”.
“Last year 62 of the 195 fatal crashes were alcohol-related and over the past five years, alcohol has been a factor in the deaths of 221 people on WA roads,” Mr Adams said.
“Driving requires attention, co-ordination, effort and judgment — to diminish that through the use of alcohol and drugs is just irresponsible and unacceptable.”
The RSC is concerned about recent cases of women caught drink-driving and is investigating if the numbers are increasing.
Traffic officers served the woman with an immediate two-month driving ban after she failed a breath test and took her home to her parents.