Sunderland woman caught drink-driving after crashing into cones in Chester Road

An alcoholic who crashed into cones while driving at over three times the drink-drive limit – and being tailed by police - has been banned from the roads.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 6:00 am
Google Streetview image of the junction between Chester Road and Greenwood Road, where the woman was pulled over.

Susan Byrne, 51 of Goole Road, Grindon, Sunderland, was spotted swerving across the A183 Chester Road by patrol officers on Saturday, July 11, a court heard.

She was pulled over in nearby Greenwood Road, also Grindon, and failed a roadside breath test.

Byrne was arrested and taken to a police station where a CAMIC procedure showed she had 116mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

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The defendant, who also has a drink-drive conviction from 2003, is now starting a 27-month ban for her latest offence.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard Byrne was alcohol dependent and her support structure had failed due to coronavirus lockdown.

Prosecutor Kirstie Devine said: “The police’s attention was drawn to a red Kia Picanto driving on the A183.

“It was swerving into cones. The defendant was stopped and failed a roadside breath test. A CAMIC was done and it showed 116mcgs.

“The starting point is a 23 to 28-month ban. This offence was aggravated by an unacceptable standard of driving.”

Richard Copsey, defending, said: “For the high reading, you need to know more about this lady.

“She is alcohol dependent, and her support system has broken down during this time.

“Because of her particular situation, she can’t do unpaid work. She is a carer for her mother.

“She is in receipt of various benefits. She would be interested in doing the drink-driver rehabilitation course.

“She had been doing well, she hadn’t been drinking for a year. This is a serious physical alcohol problem. She needs help.”

Byrne, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was also handed an 18-month community order with a requirement of 26 days’ rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

She was fined £120 and must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Magistrates offered her the option of taking the national drink-drive rehabilitation programme.

If completed, it reduces a disqualification by a quarter, meaning Byrne’s ban could end 27 weeks early.

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