Drink-driving at the double

A high peak woman caught drink-driving twice in the same day already had a conviction for the same offence, a court heard.

And now magistrates have warned Gillian Andrew that she may be sent to prison for the offence.

Staff at a New Mills off-licence called police on July 31 when Andrew came in about 4.45pm and they noticed she was about to drive even though she was clearly drunk, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald told the court.

Officers arrived and saw Andrew’s Nissan Micra being driven from the off licence before stopping at the Co-op car park.

She stopped and officers went to speak to her and when she got out of the car, they noticed she was unsteady on her feet and smelt strongly of alcohol, Mrs Fitzgerald said.

She was unable to carry out a roadside breath test so was arrested and taken back to Buxton police station where she provided a urine sample. She was then bailed so the sample could be analysed.

Later that day, at just after 9.30pm, police were called again by the same off-licence after Andrew went there again, still drunk, and again with her car. A staff member described seeing her driving and said she was all over the road, Mrs Fitzgerald said.

Police again attended and Andrew again failed to provide a roadside breath test so she was arrested again and taken to the police station where she provided a second urine sample. The first sample came back with a reading of 360 and the second with a reading of 197. The legal limit is 107.

Andrew, of Park Hill Close, New Mills, admitted two charges of driving with excess alcohol.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said: “Gillan Andrew accepts the prosecution facts.

“She was co-operative with the police and provided a urine sample.

“She was eventually released from custody and goes home. There is no further drinking. She does make the foolish decision to go back to the shop. She believed she wouldn’t be over the limit at that time.

“There are significant problems in relation to her. She has eight months’ mortgage arrears and quite serious debt problems. She also has council tax arrears. She is worried to death about possibly losing the family home. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and she doesn’t sleep very well.

“Over time her personal problems have become more difficult to deal with her and her drinking has increased.”

Chairman of the bench Michael Bishop said: “Mrs Andrew, on the first occasion you committed an excess alcohol offence with an exceedingly high reading which is just under our custody level. You were then bailed, went home and on the same day repeated the offence.”

He added that the two offences together increased the seriousness of the case and ordered a probation service report with all options open, from custody to a community penalty.

Andrew was given an interim disqualification and will be sentenced on October 17.