Blue-haired woman caught drink-driving after tip-off from concerned store staff

ASDA, in Leechmere, Sunderland, where Hanson appeared drunk to shop staff.
ASDA, in Leechmere, Sunderland, where Hanson appeared drunk to shop staff.

A blue-haired drink-driver had two small children in her car when she was caught at nearly two-and-a-half times the legal limit following a tip-off.

Danielle Hanson was snared after concerned supermarket staff called police to report that a drunk woman with blue hair had left the store and got into a vehicle, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The 31-year-old has now been banned from the roads for the mandatory three years after being caught over the limit twice in a 10-year period.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said: “The incident dates back to Friday, March 17.

“At about 9.30pm police officers were contacted by Asda Leechmere with a report of concerns for a female smelling strongly of intoxicating liquor.

“She was in the store with a second female and two very young children.

“Staff had observed the driver – described as having blue hair – on CCTV getting into an 04-reg Clio.”

Mr Poppett said the car’s registration was traced and officers attended Hanson’s home address in Azalea Terrace South, in Ashbrooke.

“A woman matching the description of the defendant was sitting in the driver’s seat , with the seat belt on and the keys in the ignition.

“She was compliant with police and accepted she was the driver in due course.”

Hanson tested 86 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

When interviewed, she told police she had gone to the rugby club for dinner with a friend and said she they had shared a bottle of wine before going to Asda to buy more wine.

She said: “We were a little bit drunk in Asda and they asked us to calm down. The kids were only laughing about.

“I felt okay to drive, I wouldn’t have got in the car otherwise.”

“Of course, she was more than double the limit,” Mr Poppett added.

“Unfortunately, it’s not her first time before the court in respect of excess alcohol offences.

“I draw your attention to the entry in October 2007, that is a relevant conviction within the last 10 years which attracts a minimum disqualification of three years.

“All other offences on her record are driving-related. She was disqualified last year.

“You may find it an aggravating factor, of children being present in the motor vehicle.”

Hanson pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Jason Smith, defending, said: “This is a pretty straight-forward matter.

“Danielle is going to be disqualified from driving for three years because she has a previous relevant disqualification, although from nine years ago.

“She didn’t believe she had drunk in excess. She felt perfectly fine to drive and was surprised at the reading.

“There was no issue over the level of culpability of the driving.

“She would never have driven the children if she thought she was over the limit.

“She has completed the drink driver rehabilitation course and she knows the risks.”

Hanson was also fined £140, with £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.