Driving ban for disabled children's carer who was twice drink drive limit

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A carer for disabled children, who crashed into a parked car while more than twice the drink drive limit, claimed she had just one vodka and coke at a friend's, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Veena Sharma (46) hit the BMW on Chapelhouse Road, Nelson, and was exchanging insurance details when police arrived at the 8.40pm collision.

Sharma blew 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

The defendant, of Leyland Road, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Sunday, September 18th. She was fined £120, with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was banned for 20 months. Sharma had no previous convictions.

Miss Jasmine Basnyet, defending Sharma, told the hearing she rightly and properly stopped at the scene.

The solicitor said earlier in the day, the defendant had been to a friend's house and had a vodka and coke.

Miss Basnyet said: "Of course, when you are drinking in someone's house there is no measure. She suspects a lot more alcohol was put in her glass than she expected. She felt absolutely fine a couple of hours later when she left."

The solicitor added :" If she thought she would have been over the limit she would never have got into her vehicle."

Miss Basnyet said the defendant, who was on employment support allowance, was also a care assistant for mentally disabled children, working the permitted number of hours.

Her employment could be affected by the disqualification. She also visited her sister, who had suffered a brain haemorrhage and was in a care home, every day.

The solicitor added :" She needs her car in order to be able to visit her sister daily. She is upset not only at the impact it will have on her job, but the impact it will no doubt have on her sister's well-being."