A DRINK driver who downed half a litre of vodka and then threw up as a concerned motorist took the keys from her abandoned car has been banned from the roads.
Melanie Hall was more than three times over the limit when her Peugeot 206 was spotted veering “all over the road” at 12.45am on the morning after Boxing Day.
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard a concerned witness called police when they saw the civil servant on the A182 in South Hetton.
Sarah Traynor, prosecuting, said: “When the police arrived, the Peugeot was abandoned in the middle of the road with the defendant beside it.
“She appeared to be pushing the witness as he’s removing the keys from the vehicle and she has vomited in the car seat.”
Mrs Traynor said the lowest reading taken showed 190microgrammes of alcohol in 100millitres of breath, with the legal limit 35microgrammes.
She added: “She was interviewed and said the Peugeot was hers and says that she had been drinking earlier on in the day and had half a litre of vodka.
“She said she couldn’t remember leaving after she went to her friends house.”
The 26-year-old, of Wear Street in Hetton, admitted to driving while unfit through drink on Saturday, December 27.
James Palmer, mitigating, said Hall was on a final warning at work at the pensions office as a result of the incident and faced paying off a car she would no longer be allowed to drive for another two years on finance.
He said: “She can’t recall why this has happened, but this is totally out of character and she has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
“She had been at a friend’s house and the plan was she would stay the night and that’s why she’s drank a lot of alcohol.
“She cannot remember why she got into the vehicle.
“She finds it quite worrying that it’s happened and apologises and is ashamed of her behaviour.”
The court heard she had a clean licence and had never been in trouble with the law before. Magistrates banned her from driving for two years and offered her the drink drive rehabilitation course.
She was also ordered to pay a £490 fine, a £49 victim surcharge and court costs of £85.