Michelle Bridges' lawyer argued for leniency on the basis she had helped Australians lose two million kilograms in weight.
Michelle Bridges' lawyer argued for leniency on the basis she had helped Australians lose two million kilograms in weight.

Michelle Bridges told RBT police: 'I used mouthwash'

Fitness industry icon Michelle Bridges told police she used mouthwash "five minutes before" failing a roadside breath test.

A visibly shaken Bridges told reporters yesterday the shame and humiliation of being convicted of mid-range drink driving while she had her five-year-old son in the car "will haunt me forever".

She pleaded guilty in Waverley Local Court on Tuesday and was convicted despite her barrister Tony Bellanto arguing she should be spared a conviction because of her overwhelming success in the weight loss industry.

Michelle Bridges fronting Waverley Local Court today. Picture: Matrix
Michelle Bridges fronting Waverley Local Court today. Picture: Matrix

Bridges - once the motivational voice behind weight-loss stories on The Biggest Loser TV show - was pulled over in her Range Rover 4WD on New South Rd at Bellevue Hill about 11.25am on Australia Day. Her five-year-old son was also in the car.

She blew .086 and was charged with mid-range drink driving.

A statement of police facts in the case said Bridges rounded a bend on New South Head Rd, then hit the brakes suddenly before changing lanes near the RBT station.

"The accused stated she had used mouthwash five minutes before being stopped, then stated she had consumed alcohol "last night".

"The accused provided a positive roadside breath test, was arrested and conveyed to Waverley police station. When enclosed in the police vehicle there was a moderate smell of intoxicating liquor emanating from the breath of the accused.

She told police back at the station she had consumed "a glass of wine with dinner then four glasses of vodka and soda" the previous night.

Mr Bellanto today argued for leniency on the basis her popular 12-week body transformation program had helped Australians lose weight.

"Over 10 years she's responsible for the Australian public losing two million kilos in weight, now that's powerful," he said.

Michelle Bridges and Steve Willis recently announced their split. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Michelle Bridges and Steve Willis recently announced their split. Picture: Dylan Robinson

 

"She's written 16 books on the topic, on nutrition, good health and so forth."

Magistrate Alison Hawkins asked "so it logically follows that someone who has achieved less in life is not entitled to court leniency?"

"I'm saying justice is individual," Mr Bellanto said.

Ms Hawkins did record a conviction, fined Bridges $750, disqualified her from driving for three months and gave her an additional 12-month period in which she will have to have a interlock breathalyser fitted to any car she drives.

Outside court Bridges apologised to the public and her family.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep remorse, shame and humiliation for this incident and an extreme lack of judgment," she said.

 

Michelle Bridges shot to fame alongside Shannan Ponson and The Commando on The Biggest Loser.
Michelle Bridges shot to fame alongside Shannan Ponson and The Commando on The Biggest Loser.

"I'd like to apologise to my family, friends and my community for this gross error in judgment. And the consequences of these actions will haunt me forever.

"I ask for your forgiveness."

In the following days after being charged with mid-range drink driving, Bridges told The Daily Telegraph she had been dealing with the "emotional turmoil" of the breakdown of her long-term relationship with fellow celebrity trainer Steve 'Commando' Willis.

"I would like to express my deep regret for breaking the law, this was a terrible mistake and an error of judgment," she said in a statement.

"This behaviour is inexcusable, and I am absolutely devastated and embarrassed to find myself in this position. It has been a very difficult time for me the last few weeks dealing with the break-up of my long-term relationship.



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