A WOMAN who blew a record blood alcohol reading after crashing her car into a tree was today jailed.
Heather-Ann Higgins, 49, was jailed for six months after pleading guilty to reckless conduct endangering life and driving while exceeding the blood alcohol limit, the Herald Sun reports.
She also lost her licence for five years.
Higgins blew .462 - believed to be an Australian record reading for a female driver and a record nine times over the legal blood-alcohol limit.
Ms Higgins, 49, told police she drank four cans of a vodka-based mixed drink shortly before she hit a tree and rolled her car on a road in Moorooduc, on Mornington Peninsula, on February 15.
The force of the impact was such that her hat ended up in a tree at least 6m off the ground.
Ms Higgins' blood-alcohol level was tested after a sample was taken while she was treated at the Frankston Hospital.
Today Magistrate Ross Betts said he would have jailed Higgins for a year had she not pleaded guilty.
And he blasted motorists for regarding drink driving as a minor offence.
''Every day people from all walks of life come before this court charged with drink driving offences,'' Mr Betts said.
''Unfortunately, far too many of them appear to consider this an innocuous and minor offence that caused no real harm to others.''
Higgins has two prior convictions for drink driving.
In 1994 she blew .175 and had her licence cancelled for 17 months. In 1997 she recorded .275 and lost her licence for 57 months.
The court was told she is an alcoholic who had unsuccessfully tried to rehabilitate herself.
Lawyers for Higgins will today apply for bail pending an appeal on the severity of the sentence.
Earlier in the case, Constable Phil Frith said the reading was believed to be the highest recorded for a woman in Victoria.
"I was dumbfounded, to put it politely,'' Constable Frith said.
"I rang forensic science straight away to confirm it and they said it was definitely correct.''
Constable Frith, who was one of the first to arrive at the scene, said the woman was trapped in the wreckage and police helped an ambulance crew free her.
He said she was very lucky to be alive.
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