A police community support officer (PCSO) managed to stop a ‘very drunk’ Chippenham woman from driving her car after a shopping trip.
At Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (15 March), 49-year-old care assistant Tracey Argue pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said that the defendant had been refused the sale of alcohol by staff at B&M at Hathaway Retail Park on 4 February this year, believing she had driven there intoxicated.
She purchased other items from the store and whilst she loaded the boot of her Renault Clio, a shop worker told a passing PCSO they were concerned she was about to drive off.
Moments later, Argue got into the driver’s seat and started the engine. The officer immediately goes over the vehicle and prevents her from driving away.
Police officers are called to the scene and the defendant, of Holmes Close, Chippenham, failed a roadside breath test and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
In custody, she provided an evidential sample of 98 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
The court heard that Argue has a previous conviction for failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
Charlotte Frizzell, defending, said her client “may not have a job” following a driving disqualification because she works as a care assistant driving around to various elderly people’s homes.
“My client informs me that she has been a care assistant for over 20 years”, she said
Ms Frizzell told the court that Argue has been struggling with alcohol since the breakdown of her marriage and is now on anti-depressants and seeking counselling.
“She gets up and starts binge drinking”, she said before confirming that her client is seeing Turning Point on a voluntary basis for help and support for her alcoholism.
Magistrates fined her £416 and disqualified her from driving for 25 months. She must also pay £85 costs and a £43 surcharge.
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