'This will never happen again': Eight-time Woodend drink driver wins appeal against jail sentence

A WOODEND woman who has been caught drink driving eight times since 2013 – with a ninth alleged offence still before the courts – has been released from custody after successfully appealing a jail term.

Larni Unwin, 50, was sentenced in the Kyneton Magistrates’ Court in September to four months’ jail after she gave a reading of 0.088 in Woodend on May 5.

It was the eighth time she had been caught drink driving, with the highest reading 0.191.

Unwin appealed the sentence and was released on bail. She was taken into custody on December 19 after allegedly drink driving again, and has since spent 57 days in jail.

Her appeal was heard in the Bendigo County Court on Tuesday.

Unwin described her time in jail as “the most confronting period of my life” and promised the court her drink driving days were over.

“It’s degrading… frightening, lonely,” she told the court.

“The violence and drug culture is distressing.

“I don’t care what it takes or how hard it is, this will never happen again.

“I don’t want anybody to think I have taken this lightly.”

The court heard Unwin had engaged with alcohol counselling in the past, but dropped out because of the number of methamphetamine-addicted people in the program.

She was also on track to complete her last community corrections order before being caught drink driving in May.

A car had been left at her property from the night before, and Unwin decided to drive to work in Gisborne when she was caught.

Judge Paul Lacava said it was clear that jail had made a mark on Unwin.

“This matter has troubled me, you have pushed me to the brink,” he said.

“If you slip up again, you will be back before me very quickly.”

She was placed on a two-year community corrections order, and her 57 days in jail was time-served.

Unwin will appear in the Castlemaine Magistrates’ Court on February 19 in relation to the alleged drink driving on December 19.

She was released on bail on those matters in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.