Drink driver arrested at McDonald's at 6.20am after downing half bottle of vodka the night before

A driver caught by police when she drove to McDonald’s for breakfast on her way to work after downing a half bottle of vodka the night before.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:55 am

Lauren Liddle, 28, called at the burger chain’s drive-thru at North Moor Lane in Farringdon, Sunderland, at 6.20am.

Staff grew suspicious when Liddle, of Antwerp Road, also Farringdon, slurred her words when asked if she wanted sugar.

They saw her eyes roll – and watched as she struggled to control her white Nissan Micra, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

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Lauren Liddle, 28, called at the burger chain’s drive-thru at North Moor Lane in Farringdon, Sunderland, at 6.20am.
Lauren Liddle, 28, called at the burger chain’s drive-thru at North Moor Lane in Farringdon, Sunderland, at 6.20am.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said an employee called police, who breathalysed Liddle at the scene on Saturday, April 10.

She gave a reading of 68 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost double the 35 microgrammes legal limit.

Liddle, who is of previous good character, is now starting an 18-month driving ban and must pay fines and court costs of £280.

Ms Duffy told the hearing: “The witness was working at McDonald’s. At 6.20am a Nissan Micra approached the drive-thru.

“She was made aware by a colleague that the driver was under the influence.

“She has gone to the window and has spoken to the driver. She asked her if she wanted any sugar.

“The defendant’s speech was slurred, her eyes moved to the back of her head and she couldn’t control the car.

“She told police she had had half a bottle of vodka at around midnight.”

Peter Thubron, defending, said: “She was under great pressure. She didn’t think that she was over the limit at the time she was driving.

“Both readings are 68, which means that she had peaked.

“She had drunk a long time ago and got up to go to work and to get breakfast at McDonald’s.

“A driving ban will cause her great difficulty.”

Roseanne Forster, chair of the bench, told Liddle: “The courts take these matters very seriously indeed.

“When you get behind the wheel while still under the influence, there’s potential for disaster.

“All the regret and sorrow in the world will not make a tragic event right.”

Liddle, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was fined £161, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Magistrates offered her a place on a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.

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