Lynne Bennett, 55, was so drunk at the wheel of her blue Vauxhall Astra she pulled over as she felt a hazard to other road users. She proceeded to finish the rest of the wine in a bottle while on a suspended sentence for fraud.
When police approached and asked her what she was doing the officer could not understand what she was saying and assumed she was drunk. He asked for her car keys – but she was unable to find them. With her poor record of persistently ignoring drink driving laws she risked prison.
Bennett, of Southsea Road, Flamborough, was caught at 3.10pm at the wheel of Vauxhall Astra parked up at Church Lane, Sewerby, on October 2 last year. The former carer had 258 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit is 80.
In November 2013 she was made the subject of a suspended community sentence for stealing £5,000 from a vulnerable 73-year-old woman who had a stroke.
Crown barrister Stephen Welch said when stopped by police she was asked questions but her replies were unintelligible. He said her car keys were found by the police in the foot well of her car.
He said when questioned by the police she said she had been to a meeting with a friend who was upset. They began drinking and she had picked up the bottle there.
“She said she had pulled over because she had felt unsafe to drive,” said Mr Welch. “She said she may have drunk half a bottle of wine in the car after she had stopped.”
Mr Welch said the case was aggravated by her being caught for a third drink related driving conviction. He said she had refused to give a specimen of breath and convicted at Bridlington Magistrates’ Court in October 2006. She had been convicted of being in charge of a motor vehicle while over the prescribed limit in November 2008.
He said the police officer formed the impression she was drunk in her car because of her slurred speech and inability to find her car keys.
He said he told police she had been out for a meeting and met a friend who had been upset and began drinking with her.
Defence barrister Carl Codd confirmed she had family problems and had sought solace in alcohol.
He said she was working with various teams including the East Riding Council child protection unit to manage her problems but accepted she faced 10 points on her licence or a driving ban. Judge Paul Watson, QC, said he had read her pre-sentence report which revealed her domestic violence problem and no-one could fail to be moved by it.
He told Bennett: “The pre-sentence report is one of the most helpful I have ever read. It deals in a fair and clear way with the problems you have had including the violence within a domestic setting and the use of drink as a coping mechanism. “Underpinning this is the bereavement of a child many years ago. If anyone might benefit from a three-month residential placement at Broadreach House it would be you.”
He ordered she should attend the three-month treatment programme at the rehabilitation centre. He adjourned sentence until June 20 to see if she had benefited from it.