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A woman from Denton, Greater Manchester, who was caught drink-driving with a bottle of wine wedged by her handbrake, has been given a 16-week suspended sentence at Tameside Magistrates’ Court.

Witnesses saw Karen Eastwood, 50, veering ‘all over the road’ as she drank behind the wheel of her Skoda.

Eastwood had pulled over and parked when police officers arrested her, noting that her eyes were “glazed” and that she had “slurred speech.”

Tests showed her to have a reading of 181 mcg alcohol per 100ml breath, more than five times the legal limit of 35mcg.

She was arrested while already awaiting trial for a previous drink-driving incident where she was found asleep at the wheel of her car at three times the limit.

Prosecutor Gareth Hughes told the court: “It was six in the evening on a Monday, and a passing member of the public travelling in a vehicle signalled to police officers to stop.

“When they spoke to him, they were told a female driving a red vehicle was all over the road, and this person believed she might be drunk. The police were told the direction and they followed.

They saw a vehicle that matched the description parked on the pavement. The defendant was on her own and there’s an empty bottle of wine next to the handbrake. Her speech was slurred and eyes glazed.

Regarding her earlier arrest, which took place in April following a Human Resources Meeting at Tameside Hospital, Hughes said: “The meeting finished and the member of staff became concerned about the defendant and believed she had been drinking and would drive home. She followed her and contacted one of the managers.

“The manager attended and the defendant was located in the vehicle, keys in the ignition, asleep. She’s taken back to the HR building by two security guards.

“Two police officers were at the hospital and just leaving. She agreed to provide a specimen of breath but failed to do so at the scene, so she was arrested and taken to the police station where two samples were provided.”

The tests showed Eastwood to have 111mcg alcohol per 100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Eastwood admitted being drunk in charge of a vehicle and drink-driving, and cried with relief as her sentence was suspended for this latest offence.

Chair of the bench Celia Metcalfe said: “Miss Eastwood, we do agree that the custody threshold has been passed. You fall as a danger to yourself and the public due to the readings in both occasions, each offence aggravates the other.

“We are going to suspend the sentence due to your lack of previous convictions but you do need some help. We are not going to offer the drink-driving rehabilitation course because of the risk you pose.”

Magistrates banned Eastwood from driving for three years, gave her a 16-week suspended sentence and ordered her to attend a six-month alcohol treatment course. She was also ordered to pay £300 costs.

About Freeman & Co.

Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.

Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.

The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.

Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.

The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.

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