Would you drink-drive to save your child?

Jane Hatch was having a few drinks at home with her friend Sue Clarke when her son suffered a severe asthma attack.

The Northern Territory mum tried to treat him with a nebuliser (a machine that helps asthma sufferers to breathe) but it didn't work because her son had blacked out. She tried to call for an ambulance but they could only meet her at nearby Palmerston.

She didn't think twice.

She, her friend and her 10-year-old son carefully placed her now seriously ill son in the car and started the drive.

After handing her son over to an ambulance crew waiting for her at Palmerston in the Northern Territory, police arrested her for drink driving.

Here's the dilemma.

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Yes she was drink-driving, but imagine the consequence if she hadn't? I would have done exactly the same as she did if faced with the same situation and I think most mothers would have. I would have expected police to let me off if I'd been caught. Am I wrong?

To make matters worse, Mrs Hatch has driven for 25 years with no traffic convictions ever. She has now lost her license for six months. This means she can't continue her job as an on-call midwife.

She says she's lost faith in the police.

Mrs Hatch pleaded guilty in Darwin Magistrates Court to medium-range drink-driving. According to NT Police media director Michael Holland, Mrs Hatch had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit.

"I just feel really bullied," she told the NT News. But she doesn't regret her decision to get behind the wheel.

"Never, if I could not have got an ambulance I would have kept on driving to the hospital."

What do you think? Should this mum have been let off? Or do parents have a responsibility to ensure there's always a "designated driver" at home in case of emergency?

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