12:29 Tuesday 21 January 2014

Drink-drive woman drank wine at party

Written byMARK MCKAY

A WOMAN who got behind the wheel of her car after downing glasses of wine at a Christmas party has been banned from driving.

Sarah Hopkins was pulled over on the A5 near Tamworth at about 1.30am on December 16, after her driving raised the eyebrows of officers in a patrol car.

Miss Hopkins, 39, of Paget Rise, Abbots Bromley, was on her way home from a Christmas works do where she drank two large glasses of wine over four hours, Burton Magistrates’ Court was told.

She carried out a roadside breath test in which she blew 57 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, Emma Thompson, prosecuting, told the court. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Vaughn Whistance, defending, said his client would probably lose her job as a result of the charge.

He said: “The consequences of her disqualification are going to be devastating because she is likely to lose her job.

“She works near Kingsley so public transport is rare.

“It’s going to be very difficult to get to and from work and she also drops her daughter off at school.”

In mitigation Mr Whistance said Hopkins had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “She has been very honest with the police.

“She had two glasses of wine and the consequence was that she felt she was okay to drive.

“It’s not excessively over the limit so there is perhaps some truth in what she says.

“She would dispute there was anything wrong with her driving.”

Presiding magistrate Andrew Nelson fined Hopkins £350 for the offence.

This would have been £525 if it were not for her guilty plea, he said.

Hopkins was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and disqualified from driving for 15 months.

She was ordered to pay her debts at the rate of £10 a week.

Mr Nelson also offered Hopkins the chance to complete an awareness course for drink drivers, which would cut the disqualification period.

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