Hairdresser mum caught drink driving

A mum panicked and got behind the wheel after two glasses of wine following a "frantic" message from her son at his school prom, a court heard.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:18 am
Burnley Magistrates' Court

Hairdresser Louise Marie Preston was almost twice the drink-drive limit when police, who were behind her, saw her stopped at a green traffic light. She then drove off when the lights turned to amber. The 45-year-old blew 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

Burnley magistrates were told Preston thought it was a "genuine emergency" when her 16-year-old son contacted her from the event at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Clayton-le- Moors. She had had almost 30 missed calls whilst she was in the car.

Preston, whose builder partner is currently receiving chemotherapy for stage four bowel cancer, has now been ordered off the road for 12 months and will no longer be able to take him for his treatment.

Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) said police were on Padiham Road, in Burnley, at about 11pm. A Mini Countryman directly in front of them was stopped at a green light. She continued: "The vehicle waited for about 10 seconds and as the light turned to amber, the vehicle then drove off." Preston had no previous convictions.

Mr Dylan Bradshaw (defending) told the hearing she had dropped her youngest son off at the prom and he was to get a taxi home after a party, probably in the early hours of the morning.

Preston went home and had some wine to relax.

The solicitor added: "She then received a text message, which she interpreted as quite frantic from her son, saying "can you pick me up?" She tried to ring him, got no response, so set off in the car, worried that something had gone wrong. She got to the traffic lights and the reason for the delay was that she looked at her phone and saw she had had 26 missed calls since she left her home."

Mr Bradshaw said when she got to the police station, officers allowed her to phone family members to make sure her son was OK. The solicitor continued: "He was. It was a relatively innocuous issue. She thought it was a genuine emergency."

Mr Bradshaw said the ban would mean the defendant would not be able to take her partner for chemotherapy and she felt as if she had let him down. He added: "She apologises unreservedly for coming before the court."

Self-employed Preston, of Accrington Road, Hapton, admitted driving with excess alcohol, on July 1st. She was fined £200 with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.