Mum jailed for drinking bottle of wine before driving

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 March 2016

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

A Weston-super-Mare woman has been sent to prison for 12 weeks for driving while drunk on one of the town's busiest roads.

Laura Hancock, of Hill Road in Weston, drank a bottle of wine before taking to the road in her son’s car.

She faced magistrates at North Somerset Courthouse on Monday, charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while disqualified, using a car without insurance and driving without a licence.

The 49-year-old admitted to all of the offences.

At 1.05pm on Saturday, police officers were patrolling Flowerdown Bridge when they were flagged down by a concerned driver who noticed Hancock swerving across the road.

The officers followed Hancock onto Aisecombe Way and then Flowerdown Retail Park and noticed she was driving erratically.

She parked diagonally across two bays before the police approached her.

May Li, prosecuting, said: “The police officer approached her and noticed a strong smell of alcohol. He asked her if she had been drinking and she ignored him.

“The officer arrested her and then made checks and saw she had been disqualified from driving in 2014 and further arrested her.”

Anjam Arif, mitigating, pleaded with magistrates to spare Hancock, who has two teenage sons, from serving jail time.

He said: “It was quite a high reading given at the police station.

“There is not really a good explanation or reason to give to the court as to why she chose to get into the car.

“She bought the car for her son to learn to drive in, she made the foolish decision to go see her partner in Puxton and decided to drive there. She clearly took a risk at that point.

“She accepts she drank a lot of alcohol quickly – a bottle of wine in about an hour.

“An argument developed and that’s when she left. She got back in the vehicle with the intention of driving home.

“All she can say is she acknowledges the stupidity of her actions. She acknowledges the serious risk she put herself and other road users in.”

Hancock has been attending a day care programme at Addaction to tackle her drink problem.

Magistrates told Hancock she would have to go to prison as she has several previous driving offences.

As well as being sent to prison for 12 weeks, Hancock was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £85. She has also been disqualified from driving for a further three years.

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