A 69-year-old drink driver from South Tyneside crashed into roundabout after downing gin and tonic

A pensioner drove her car onto a roundabout after drinking gin and tonic.

By Sue Kirby
Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:30 pm

Mary Margaret Price, 69, of Hillcrest, Jarrow, admitted driving whilst over the limit when she appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The magistrates court heard she had driven the Vauxhall Zafira after having a row with her 92-year-old friend who she had been spending the evening with.

The court heard she had a reading of 68 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 35.

Mary Margaret Price, of Jarrow, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Clare Irving, prosecuting, said it was about 7.15pm when the accident happened in Jarrow’s Victoria Road.

She said: “Her vehicle collided with a roundabout. She was in the middle of the roundabout and there was debris around.

“Police were called after passers by had stopped to make sure this lady was OK.”

Ms Irving said when officers arrived they thought the grandmother was under the influence of alcohol.

She said: “She said she had been drinking gin and tonic. She was drunk.”

Ms Irving said Price is a person of previous good character and there is no record of her ever being in trouble before.

Geoffrey Michael Forrester, defending, said his client had been at her friend’s house on the evening in question and had not intended to drive her car anywhere.

He said: “Ms Price had a friendship with someone I can describe an old gentleman of 92. She was at his home and had had something to drink.

“She wasn’t expecting to drive, but unfortunately they had got into an argument. She went outside and sat in her car.”

Mr Forrester said his client started to feel cold sitting in the car and took the decision to drive off.

He said: “It is very sad to find her here.”

He said she co-operated fully with the police.

District Judge Kathryn Meek told the pensioner the incident could have been a lot more serious.

She said: “You must not drink and drive. You were a danger. You could have injured yourself or injured other people.”

Price was fined £140 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 surcharge. She was also banned from driving for 18 months.