Briercliffe woman was four times legal drink drive limit

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A “drunk” woman caught almost four times the limit had been driving with a flat tyre, a court heard.

Joanne Sharkey, who had turned to alcohol after her mother died, had gone to a shop less than 500 yards from her home.

She blew 122 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath after she was arrested on Duke Street, Briercliffe, where she lives. The legal limit is 35, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told.

The 40-year-old, who has never been in trouble before, has now been ordered off the road for 30 months, after the 9pm incident on October 4th.

A probation officer who interviewed Sharkey told the hearing she lost her mother in February, felt she had to try and look after the family and had not had time to grieve for herself. She resigned from work, stayed at home and turned to drink to block out her feelings.

The officer continued: “She accepts full responsibility for her actions. She is ashamed and shows remorse.”

The officer said the defendant stated she didn’t generally drink, but in the last six months, she had turned to binge drinking. She had been in touch with Inspire, the alcohol treatment service.

The officer added: “She has recently been suffering from depression due to the grief that she was feeling. She is aware of the possibility of a custodial sentence being imposed today. However, she would find it difficult to cope in such a setting.”

Sharkey admitted driving with excess alcohol. She was given a 12-month community order, with a three-month alcohol treatment programme, up to 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 60 hours unpaid work. The defendant was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

District Judge John Maxwell said Sharkey had been drunk and the level of alcohol in her system had been enough to kill some people.

He added: “Had the police not intervened, I don’t know what would have happened. I readily accept this is out of character.”