A few months ago, Tracey Anne Strachan began illegally operating a taxi in order to make ends meet.
Strachan faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Thursday, May 30, and admitted to two counts of driving under suspension, one of driving while exceeding the blood alcohol limit, and one of driving a taxi without a proper licence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Darren Clifton told the court that Strachan, driving a Toyota, was stopped by police on Parade Road, Dalyellup at 12.37am on January 8.
A blood alcohol test registered 0.017 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. A passenger was in the vehicle at the time.
Strachan was later stopped by police in Withers at 4.45pm on January 14.
On both occasions, she was found to be driving without a valid licence.
The defence said Strachan and her partner had undergone long-term financial stress.
The taxi's owner offered Strachan work, which she then accepted. Prior to January, she was unaware of her suspensions.
After the second incident, she successfully underwent drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Strachan has since sold her car, and now receives assistance from close friends.
Taking the charges and Strachan's personal circumstances into account, Magistrate Belinda Coleman handed down an $1800 fine, court costs, and an 18-month licence disqualification.
"Do not drive during that time," Ms Coleman said to Strachan.
"You must get approval from the Department of Transport before driving again.
"You must also pay the impound fees for the taxi."
The maximum penalty for driving a taxi without a proper licence is a $1000 fine.