A DINNERLADY attempted to pick her children up from school in a confused panic which was brought on by half a litre of cider and a quarter of a bottle of vodka she had downed hours earlier, a court heard.
Angela Bowler was nearly four times the drink-drive limit when she crashed her car outside Outwoods Primary School, in Harehedge Lane, Burton, where she also worked as a dinnerlady before being dismissed over the incident.
The 48-year-old, of Kenilworth Avenue, Stretton, reappeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, after admitting a charge of drink-driving last month, where she was told she was fortunate to avoid a jail sentence.
The court heard how Bowler had woken up at around 4.30pm on March 31 in a panic, believing her children were still at an after-school club.
The police were called by the driver of a Ford Transit van, which Bowler had clipped outside the school, after it became clear she had been drinking.
Bowler, who was said to have struggled with her battle against the bottle, was guided away from the scene by her concerned husband before being traced by police at her home a short time later.
She blew a staggering 131 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Bowler was handed a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and was warned by magistrates that she was being given one last chance.
Sonia Lawrence, defending, told the court that Bowler’s children were never in any danger.
She said: “There was never any risk of the children getting into the car with Mrs Bowler. The arrangement was that her husband would pick them up from after school class and indeed he had.”
Ms Lawrence pleaded with magistrates to allow Bowler to seek help with her addiction rather than send her to prison.
She said: “She knows this is something that can’t carry on.
“She’s an alcoholic, she accepts that. She doesn’t think clearly when she drinks and she needs to get the right help to stop anything like his from happening again.”
Bowler was banned from driving for 48 months and ordered to pay court costs of £165.