"Drunk" driver drove wrong was down main South Tyneside road
Kayley Anderson was already banned from the roads and had clocked up 28 penalty points on her licence when she was seen falling to the ground at a garage forecourt before getting behind the wheel.
Newcastle Crown Court heard an "appalling" piece of driving that put herself and the public at risk, the 27-year-old - who now works as an administrator for the Air Ambulance - lashed out at police who arrested her and kicked one of them in the face.
The court heard a worried motorist who saw Anderson, of Horsley Vale, South Shields, getting into her car at a petrol station on Newcastle Road, South Shields, in August was so concerned he contacted the police and followed her himself.
Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: "The defendant fell over behind his vehicle and then she was seen staggering into a white Citroen, which was on the forecourt. The witness was concerned the female was drunk."
Mr Rowland said: "He observed the vehicle on the John Reid Road, swerving across both lanes of the dual carriageway as it passed the crematorium.
"Her car stopped, turned around and then proceeded to drive the wrong in the wrong direction along the dual carriageway."
The court heard the police caught up with Anderson on Edhill Avenue, where she was sitting in the stationary vehicle, talking on her mobile phone.
While "kicking her legs out wildly" at police, an acting inspector was hit in the face with her foot and suffered swelling.
At the police station Anderson refused to give a breath specimen for analysis.
Anderson pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to provide a specimen of breath and assaulting a police officer.
The court heard the convictions, which all happened in the early hours of August 12, are the third set of driving offences she has committed since 2011.
Judge Stephen Earl told her: "You are a danger to road users and to yourself in these circumstances. The risk cannot be stressed highly enough. You have not learned your lesson. Your driving on that night was appalling, dangerous ."
The judge said Anderson seemed "highly intoxicated" the time of the bad driving.
Anderson was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 15 months, with rehabilitation requirements, 240 hours unpaid work and a three year road ban.
Matthew Crowe, defending, said Anderson had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism as a result of personal issues and family bereavements but has now sought help.
Mr Crowe said: "Her problem was she tried to deal with it alone. She is incredibly sorry for what happened, incredibly remorseful."