Police doing Breathalyse tests in Royal Parade, Parkville. Breath testing. Breathalyser.
Police doing Breathalyse tests in Royal Parade, Parkville. Breath testing. Breathalyser.

Serial drink-driver finds God, wants licence back

A SERIAL drink and drug-driver who was jailed and banned from the road for life after critically injuring two elderly motorcyclists is pleading a court to give her licence back so she can drive her young children around.

Gold Coast woman Sophie Chambers has made an emotional appeal to the District Court to overturn her absolute licence disqualification, saying she has found God and is a changed woman.

The 32-year-old was drink-driving for the third time in five years when she crashed her car into a motorcycle ridden by Colin Clarke, 63, and wife Jan, 62, in the Currumbin Valley on the Gold Coast in August 2012.

The retirees, who were flung into the air, both suffered multiple fractures and other injuries and Mrs Clarke spent two months in hospital.

Ms Chambers was sentenced to almost three years' jail and banned from driving for life after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

After being released from prison, she was convicted for drug-driving in 2017 after she passed out in a Hungry Jack's drive-through while high on fantasy.

Now she has asked the court to reinstate her licence, saying she needs it to drive her children, aged 10, 4, and 2, to and from school and day care and to find work.

In a heartfelt affidavits in support of her bid, she and her family including her lawyer brother have detailed a life of extreme domestic violence which they say drove her "completely off the rails".

The affidavits allege Ms Chambers turned to drugs and alcohol as an escape after she, her two brothers and mother were subjected to years of extreme, constant and relentless violence in the family home.

Ms Chambers said she had crashed into the motorcycle after she drank excessively at the wake for her brother Blake who hung himself, and she later became involved in a relationship with a violent drug user who fathered her youngest child.

She said her life changed after she entered rehab, moved in with her mother and children in the Tallebudgera Valley and became a Jehovah's Witness.

"I accept that as a young woman, I drove and acted irresponsibly,' she said in her statement.

"I have suffered the consequences of my conduct. I was imprisoned because of it.

"I severely hurt two innocent people. The fact I did this, haunts me to this very day."

But Ms Chambers said she had also taken significant steps to rehabilitate and "I am a different person to my former self".

She said she needed her licence to care for her children and gain a job "so I can be a respected role model".

Ms Chambers said she would value the privilege of a licence, and would not place herself or the public in the position she had before.

A hearing has been set down for July 24.

The Clarkes could not be contacted for comment.




Originally published as Serial drink-driver finds God, wants licence back