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A Wigan woman who took her kids home from a festival while more than three times the legal drink driving limit has been banned for two years.

The 36-year-old mum-of-two had been drinking toffee-flavoured vodka at the festival the night before, then had a glass of wine on the morning of May 28 before getting in the car.

Rather than being drunk, the woman believed she was exhausted as the result of sunburn, Stockport Magistrates Court heard.

A witness, however, saw the woman’s car swerving in the road. The witness overtook the woman, with the defendant crashing into the witness’s car as she pulled in front. There were no injuries.

A subsequent breathalyser test returned two different results, however, a blood alcohol test found her to be more than three times the legal limit.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, told the court: “On May 28 at around 3.30 in the afternoon, a [witness] was driving along Pickmere Lane in Cheshire and she came behind a Ford vehicle that was veering across the lanes.

“She overtook the Ford car and saw the driver, [the defendant], and thought that she looked drunk. As she moved in front of the Ford car, it went into the back of her car.

“[The witness] got out and spoke to [the defendant] and called the police. The police came and did a breathalyser test and found her to have two readings – 150mg of alcohol in her breath and 130mg.

“As they had two separate readings, they took a sample of blood and they got a reading of 266mg in 100ml of blood – which is well over three times the limit of 80mg in 100ml blood.

“In an interview, she said she had been drinking. She had been at a festival with her children and the previous day she had been drinking toffee flavoured vodka.

“She said she then woke up in the morning and had a glass of wine. She then left the festival at two in the afternoon.

“After the accident, she said that she was beginning to feel the wine that she had earlier that day. Her children were in the car at the time.”

Speaking in the woman’s defence, Maria Brannon said: “She is of good character, with no previous convictions, and has been driving for 19 years with no endorsements.

“She has two daughters who are two and four years of age, and she is well regarded in her job working in administration at Wigan Council.

“She was at the Geronimo Festival in Cheshire with her children and her and her friend had been camping there and they didn’t drive home until after lunch.

“A combination of the alcohol from the night before and the sunburn made her feel ill when she was driving home.

“She is aware that she is going to be disqualified from driving today.

“She is very ashamed of what happened.

“This incident was completely out of character for her and it is highly unlikely that she will commit an offence like this again.

“She went with her two children and another family to the festival at Arley Hall.

“She said that she felt tired just before she drove home but put it down to sunburn. So, she decided to drive – a decision that she bitterly regrets.

“She took a wrong turn and got lost down a country lane and this was where the accident happened.

“A woman had driven in front of her and [she] had not seen her until it was too late. She was very apologetic to the woman and the police and there was no damage caused to the car.

“[She] bitterly regrets her decision to drive with the children in the back of her car.”

“But there are mitigating factors. First of all, the immediate guilty plea; secondly her lack of previous convictions, and also her exemplary character. She is the sole primary career of her two young children.”

After pleading guilty to drink driving, Magistrates handed the woman a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as banning her from driving for two years.

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