Would-be Good Samaritan caught drink-driving herself after trying to help 'worse for wear' friend

A would-be good Samaritan motorist was caught over the limit after taking the keys from a ‘worse for wear’ pal and volunteering to drive home.

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 6:00 am

Sapphire Charlesworth, 27, of East Street, Chester-le-Street, was spotted with three friends getting into Alan Morley’s Renault Megan in Newcastle by police.

Two of the group were staggering and the others were holding booze at 1.20am on Sunday, July 12, magistrates in South Tyneside were told

She drove off over the city’s Redheugh Bridge but was stopped shortly after in Lobley Hill Road, Gateshead – and gave a positive breath test reading.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Charlesworth has now been banned from driving for 14 months and hit with fines and court costs of over £350.

Prosecutor Kirstie Devine said: “A special constable sees four people getting into a Renault.

“He describes two of them staggering and two carrying alcohol.

“The car travelled over the Redheugh Bridge and was stopped. The vehicle was registered to a Mr Morley.

“The defendant failed a roadside breath test. This offence was aggravated by the fact that she was carrying passengers.”

Alaister Naismith, defending, said: “In short, this is a mistake that will cost her to lose her licence for at least a year.

“The car belonged to a Mr Morley, who was in the back seat and was the worse for wear.

“She didn’t think that she was over the limit when she took the keys from Mr Morley and decided to drive home.

“She thought that she was safe to drive. She should have called for a taxi.

“There were no issues with her driving or the police would have stopped her before she crossed the Redheugh Bridge.”The court heard Charlesworth’s only previous offence was a speeding conviction from September 2019, for which was given three penalty points.

Charlesworth, who the court heard had lost her job due to coronavirus cutbacks, gave a breath test reading of 53mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcgs.

She pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance.

She was fined £120 for each offence and must pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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