South Tyneside mum claimed she had not been drink driving - despite being seen by a witness
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A South Tyneside mum has been hit with a heavy roads’ ban after failing to convince a court she was not as drunk at the wheel as a breath test had shown.
Abbey McCaffery, 27, insisted she had downed booze at home and had not driven her car for several hours – despite being seen motoring by a witness.
But an analysis of her likely level of alcohol at the time of the alleged offence by an expert concluded she was as sozzled as police had claimed.
McCaffery gave a reading of almost four times the limit after being breath tested by officers who attended her South Shields home to quiz her at around 8pm on Sunday, May 7.
She is starting a 30-month ban – and must pay over £900 in fines and court costs – after pleading guilty to a charge of drink driving.
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Prosecutor Lesley Burgess told borough magistrates: “Police were contacted by a member of the public amid concern about a vehicle that was being driven erratically.
“The vehicle was described as mounting the pavement on a number of occasions. There was a female driver and there was information that there was a child in the car.
“Police undertook checks and attended the defendant’s address. They describe her as being intoxicated and they decided to go into the house in case there was a child.
“There was no child in the house. Ms McCaffery immediately denied that she had driven the car since that morning, but it was clear that she had.
“There was some dispute about what alcohol had been consumed but a forensic report was not supportive of what she had originally stated.”
McCaffery gave a reading of 124mcg of alcohol in breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Jason Smith, defending, said: “This young lady has no previous convictions, this was a one-off. Her child was away, and she had had a drink. There was no child in the car.
“You’re going to give her up to a three-year disqualification which is going to affect her employment and her ability to move her children around.”
Magistrates fined McCaffery £600, with a £240 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
Gordon Murphy, chair of the bench, told her: “I don’t think there’s anything that we can do to you that you haven’t already done to yourself. I’m sure you regret this, and you have shown remorse.”