A mother who had just dropped off her two young children at Hume Public School reeked of alcohol and after her arrest gave a reading three times the legal limit, a court has heard.
Magistrate Richard Funston repeatedly asked Renuka Tiwari what time she had downed her last drink, clearly dissatisfied with her answer of about 7.30 the night before.
But eventually she revealed a reason for her heavy drinking.
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Tiwari began to gently sob then explained in Albury Local Court, through a Nepalese interpreter, that she was grieving for her daughter who hadn't long died.
"I lost my daughter at that time and I was so upset," she said.
"And I think that's why I was drinking so much."
Mr Funston immediately expressed his sympathy.
"That is very sad and I'm sorry to hear that, he said.
"And hopefully (Albury Community Corrections) can offer you some comfort."
In reply, Tiwari, 32, promised the court she "won't touch that car again".
Supervision was made a condition of the 18-month community corrections order Mr Funston imposed on the Lavington woman.
Tiwari was also disqualified from driving for six months.
"(The supervision is) because you need some help," he said.
"The fact you were drinking so much and the fact your liver is being damaged, you need some help."
The court was told that Tiwari was driving along Dale Crescent, Lavington, on February 19 just after 9am when she came to the attention of police, who activated their car's lights and sirens when she made it to Cheyenne Drive.
Their intention was to carry out a random breath test, in what police said was a designated school zone for Hume Public School.
Tiwari produced her driver's licence then provided a positive preliminary breath test. She later gave a reading of 0.150.
"The accused admitted to consuming one glass of wine at 6pm the night before," police said.
"The accused informed police she had just dropped her two kids aged four and six years of age at Hume Public School."
Tiwari told Mr Funston she had now stopped drinking. She believed her reading was so high because she had not eaten any food the night before.
She was celebrating "the kids' birthdays and everybody was drinking and I was drinking too".