A WOMAN who put lives at risk as she drove home from a night out at almost three times the legal limit has been told she will have to pay for the damage she caused out of her own pocket.
Rachel Forster, 20, was banned from driving for two years after Sunderland magistrates heard she smashed into a parked vehicle after clipping a kerb in Charlton Road, Fulwell, on January 12.
Forster, who had a passenger in her BMW 116i Sport at the time of the collision, caused so much damage to the other vehicle that it will be written off. However, due to Forster breaching the terms of her insurance by being drunk behind the wheel, she will have to cover the cost. She has also lost her own car, which will not be repaired.
The court heard how Forster usually drives on nights out, leaving the car to retrieve it the following day.
“She went out with her friends and clearly made the decision whilst intoxicated,” said a probation report read out in court. “She collides with a parked car. A friend is in the vehicle with her. Nobody was seriously injured, however, she has an understanding that worse could have happened.”
The full-time student had consumed “a significant quantity of alcohol”, and is unable to remember how many double vodkas she had downed, the report added.
Forster, of Roker Avenue, Monkwearmouth, admitted driving with excess alcohol and being found to have 101ug of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35ug.
Warren Ridley, defending, said: “Obviously there was a road traffic collision and there was damage to another vehicle, but I would like you to consider the punishment.
“She has lost her motor vehicle. It’s not going to be repaired by the insurance company. Thankfully the insurance company has agreed to compensate the owner of the other car.
“But because of the nature of the accident they will pursue Miss Forster through the civil courts to recoup that money. She’s lost her good name, her good character. It was a foolish decision
“She’s at college studying to be a makeup artist for theatre, film and TV. The possibilities of employment at the end of her course are limited. Without the use of a motor vehicle they are nonexistent. She will have to put her career on hold.
“She is a young lady who has made a very silly mistake. She has learned the hard way.”
Forster was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with supervision and was told to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.