University student drove while three times the limit because she was too anxious to phone a taxi

A student got behind the wheel of a car while three times the limit because she was too anxious to phone a taxi following an assault.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 17:07 pm
The cases were dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Zoe Louise Laidler admitted drink driving when she appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The Newcastle University student also pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.

The court heard that Laidler, 21, who volunteers for a homeless organisation, was the alleged victim of a kidnap and assault incident last year involving a taxi, which is why she didn't phone one to take her home from a friend's house after she had been drinking.

Prosecuting, Glenda Beck, said at about 9.30pm on August 10, a witness was leaving work in the Doxford Park area of Sunderland when she noticed the car behind her.

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She said: "The witness believed the defendant was drunk as the vehicle was swaying across the road."

When the witness stopped at a roundabout Laidler drove into the back of her.

Ms Beck said both parties got out of the cars and the defendant started shouting and swearing at the witness, who felt so intimidated she got back into her car to wait for help.

She said: "The defendant started to bang on the window of the witnesses car shouting 'I hope you die'."

Police arrived and Laidler was found to have 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35.

The defendant told probation services she had gone to see a friend intending to stay over, but when someone else arrived who made her feel uncomfortable she decided to leave.

And, because of her previous experience didn't want to phone a taxi, although she knew this was no excuse for driving, the court was told.

John Griffiths, defending, said the incident has been a huge wake up call for her.

He said: "She accepts full responsibility for these offences and is very remorseful. It is very out of character.

"She knows it is her own fault, there's no question about that."

Laidler was banned from driving for 26 months and fined £320. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £32.