Pensioner gets three year drink-drive ban

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A woman pensioner has been given a three year ban for drink-driving on the day of her friend’s funeral.

Patricia Hern (63), of Drury Lane, Bicker, was stopped on Station Road, Donington, on July 2 – automatically triggering a three year ban because she had a similar conviction within ten years from November 2003.

Spalding magistrates heard on Thursday that Hern was almost double the drink-drive limit with 67 microgrammes of alcohol in breath when police saw her silver Ford Focus in Donington.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said a police officer noticed Hern because the car was being driven slowly, failed to indicate and appeared to stall at a junction.

As well as the ban, Hern received a £250 fine and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £25 victim surcharge.

She pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Magistrates said they would not offer her the chance to cut the ban by attending a drink-drive rehabilitation course because of the level of alcohol and it was a second offence.

Solicitor Carrie Simson, mitigating, said unfortunately Hern had fallen foul of the three-year ban by just three months.

She said Hern’s husband is disabled and she is his full-time carer.

The ban would have more effect upon him than her.

“She can get public transport but it’s not something he’s going to be able to do,” Mrs Simson said. “He’s mainly on crutches and can’t walk.”

Mrs Simson told the court: “On the day of the offence, she had been to the funeral of a close friend and she had been preparing the buffet afterwards.

“In a distraught state she had a drink.

“She tells me that she felt okay to drive.

“She’s asked me to offer her remorse to the court today. She’s very ashamed that she’s here.”

Mrs Simson asked magistrates to offer Hern the drink drive rehabilitation course.

“In my respectful submission, these are extenuating circumstances bearing in mind that she’s a 24 hour carer.”