A MELBOURNE mum has been ordered to install a breath-testing device in her home as part of a $20 million custody and property fight.
The woman’s former partner asked for an alcohol interlock device to be put in her car to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their sons.
But she opposed the order claiming it was “unduly harsh and oppressive”.
The Family Court heard the pair are locked in a dispute about how to divide their property and organise custody of their 10 and 14-year-old boys.
The mother currently has her eldest son overnight once a week and the youngest for three hours after school one day.
She agreed to court orders banning her from consuming alcohol 24 hours before having the children in her care and attending random blood-alcohol screening.
The court also allowed her to attend her sons’ sporting or school events as long as no alcohol was available.
But the mother denied the orders were necessary and made no admissions about her drinking.
The father pressed for an interlock device to be installed on the mother’s car and was backed by a doctor who said it would give the children “an increased sense of confidence and security”.
The mother said she had not had a drink in 14 months and had no “alcohol-related driving conviction”.
Justice Peter Young said the interests of the children could be satisfied by having a breath-test machine in the mother’s home or garage.
He said she would have to observe a zero alcohol reading before driving the children anywhere within suburban Melbourne.
The court heard the readings would be recorded, along with a photograph, and provided to the court’s children’s lawyer.
The court orders also provided for the children to travel to their mother’s house from school by tram and be driven by their father on other access days.
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