66-year-old drink driver crashed her Nissan Juke into parked cars after downing wine and champagne

A 66-year-old motorist got behind the wheel and crashed after boozing on wine and champagne at a birthday bash, a court heard.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:00 am

Pauline Walsh, 66, of Lilburn Close, East Boldon, went to Newcastle on Saturday, December 28, to celebrate a friend’s daughter turning 21, leaving her car parked at East Boldon Metro station.

After having a meal and consuming alcohol, she took a taxi back to the train stop – then jumped into her 67-plate Nissan Juke, before ploughing her vehicle into parked cars in nearby St George’s Terrace.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Walsh had even told the taxi driver she planned to drive – and he then phoned police with his concerns after dropping her off.

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South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

When breathalysed, she was found to be almost two-and-a-half-times the drink-drive limit.

Magistrates have now banned her from the roads for a year and hit her with fines and court costs totalling over £300.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “What happened on this particular day appears to be that this lady had been collected following a night out at The Stack in Pilgrim Street in Newcastle.

“She was behaving drunk and appeared to be having balance problems and gets in a taxi and is taken off to Station Road in East Boldon.

“She tells the taxi driver that she is going to get into her car. As soon as she gets into the car, the taxi driver calls the police. She crashed into parked cars.

“I can tell you she is a lady without any previous convictions. She now finds herself before the court for the first time as a mature lady.”

Mr Anderson said Walsh recorded a reading of 80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on a test device. The legal limit is 35.

Tracey Wood, defending, said Walsh had lost a close friend to illness and had attended the funeral the day before the offence.

She added: “The next day it was another friend’s daughter’s 21st birthday, she made the decision to attend.

“They went to The Stack and had a meal. She had parked her car at the Metro station. She had glasses of wine and there was also champagne drunk.

“Her friends knew that she was drunk, and they ordered her a taxi. She isn’t a lady who drinks often, this was one-off for her.

“She went back to her car. It was a short distance before the accident. She doesn’t have recollection of the conversation in the taxi.

“Her 19-year-old grandson was last year in a serious car accident. It’s extremely heavy to bear for this lady that her actions could have led to harm.

“She does realise that she’ll leave the court with a blemish to her good name. She’s not a lady you will see before the courts again.”

Walsh, who pleaded guilty to driving whilst unfit through drink, was fined £204 and must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.