A Whanganui woman told her lawyer that she doesn't have a problem with alcohol despite pleading guilty to offences committed while she was drunk.

Joyce Malena Murphy was so intoxicated while driving around a communal driveway in March 2018 that she was unable to get out of the vehicle when it stopped.

She was then taken to Whanganui Hospital.

When Murphy appeared in Whanganui District Court for sentencing on Tuesday, her lawyer Anna Brosnahan said she had not offended since 2009.


"Alcohol seems to have become a problem recently, although Ms Murphy says it's not, I think that an assessment through supervision would assist," Brosnahan said.

"Obviously [there has been] nothing for a long period of time and then we have a cluster of things going wrong."

Judge Philip Crayton said that Murphy's offending continued on August 19, 2018.

"You were driving around the heads area in Castlecliff and you drove in a manner which led to a sustained loss of traction being 47 metres in length of skidmarks.

"[It was] a somewhat surprising offence given your age and your history. The explanation might well be in the level of alcohol in your system."

Then on December 31, Murphy was on Airport Rd when she noticed a parked vehicle that had been left unlocked.

She opened the door, spotting a cellphone, wallet and keys which she stole while the owner was letting off fireworks nearby.

Murphy was found in a drunk state, barely able to stand.


She pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol, breath alcohol over 400mcgs, theft ex car and operating a motor vehicle carelessly causing sustained loss of traction.

Judge Crayton sentenced Murphy to 12 months' supervision and she was disqualified from driving for 10 months.

The judge also ordered her to pay $200 reparation for the cellphone and wallet and $109.25 for a blood test requested.

Murphy was not subject to alcohol interlock procedures as she does not own her own vehicle.