Green-haired drink driver was caught at four times the legal limit

Tilbury Road in Sunderland.
Tilbury Road in Sunderland.

A drink driver has been banned from the roads for three years after getting behind the wheel at more than four times the legal limit.

Joanne Young, 31, hit the bottle after facing a number of personal problems, including redundancy and her boyfriend’s imminent move to the other side of the world, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Tilbury Road in Sunderland.

Tilbury Road in Sunderland.

Having drunk a considerable amount at her cousin’s house on Wednesday, July 13, she decided to get behind the wheel to drive home.

But she did not get far before her Volkswagen Polo was pulled over by police in Tilbury Road, Thorney Close, the court heard.

She was breathalysed and was found to have 150 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

Young, of Avalon Road, Farringdon, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

She is mortified at having to appear before the court. She recognises how serious this is, it is clear to her that she could be facing custody today

Phillipa Wylie, defending

A probation report said: “She is described as making the journey home from her cousin’s house when she was stopped by police.

“She accepts responsibility for her actions and the consequences it could have caused – serious injury or even death.

“Alcohol is a coping mechanism for her, she faced redundancy four months ago and her boyfriend is soon to move to Australia.

The report added that Young suffers from anxiety and depression and is on medication, as well as addressing her alcohol issues with the help of various agencies.

Tilbury Road in Sunderland.

Tilbury Road in Sunderland.

She is also actively jobseeking to return to her career as a personal assistant or recruitment consultant, the report said.

Phillipa Wylie, defending, said: “She is mortified at having to appear before the court. She recognises how serious this is, it is clear to her that she could be facing custody today.

“She’d had a lot to drink and felt the need to get home. She’s only been three doors past her cousin’s house when she was arrested. She hasn’t driven very far, mercifully.

“She recognises she has a problem with alcohol. She is not alcohol-dependant, but she binge drinks and she thought nothing of getting in the car.”

Young, who appeared in court sporting green hair, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with requirements to participate in specified activity for 10 days, and 14 sessions of the drink-impaired drivers’ programme.

She was also banned from driving fro 36 months and was fined £120 with £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.