Sunderland university student from South Shields more than twice drink drive limit after Customs House visit

A night out at the theatre landed a motorist in court charged with drink driving.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 11:18 am
Michelle Shotton had no intention of drinking when she went for an evening at The Customs House, but agreed to go on to a pub with her friend, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard.

Michelle Shotton, 31, of The High Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with excess alcohol when she appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard Shotton, a single mum-of-one, had no intention of drinking when she went for an evening at The Customs House, but agreed to go on to a pub with her friend.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said the incident happened around 2am on the morning of Friday, September 13, this year.

He said: “A female who appears to be under the affects of alcohol was seen getting into a vehicle.”

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He said witnesses called the police who arrived shortly after and breathalysed the defendant. She was found to have 94 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35.

Val Bell, defending, said her client, who is a dog hydrotherapist and is studying history at the University of Sunderland, rarely drinks alcohol and on that evening had no intention of doing so and driving.

She said: “She had been to The Customs House for a show. She had no intention of drinking any alcohol.

“Her friend suggested they go to another friend’s pub and she said OK and she paid for overnight parking intending to leave the car.

“She had a few drinks then went to the car to get her training shoes on to go and get a taxi and stupidly she got into the car and drove it out of the car park.

“This lady had led a blameless life so far. She has never been in any sort of trouble before in her life.

“She is extremely upset and ashamed that she finds herself before the court. She made a huge error, a huge mistake.”

Ms Bell said Shotton co-operated fully with police and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Shotton was banned from driving for 23 months and ordered to pay a fine of £233, a victim surcharge of £32 and costs of £85.