Drunk mum caught driving damaged car while police investigated crash

Earls' Court. Copyright Google Images.
Earls' Court. Copyright Google Images.
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A drunk mum has been banned from the roads for two years after she was caught driving her badly-damaged car while police investigated a collision involving two parked vehicles.

Officers came across Claire Tunstall’s vehicle in Earl’s Court, Southwick, in the early hours of Sunday, September 20, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The 34-year-old’s 10-plate Peugeot had extensive damage to the bodywork and smashed windows, when she was spotted driving it near her home in Washington Road.

Prosecutor Gary Fothergill said: “It became clear that she was under the influence of something.

“She failed a breath test and was taken into custody.

“During the procedure at the roadside she accepted she had been involved in an accident and that she’d had too much to drink.

“You may find that this offence is aggravated by the fact she was carrying a passenger at the time.”

Tunstall had 264mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine – the legal limit being 107 – and admitted driving with excess alcohol.

A probation report said mum-of-one Tunstall is on sick leave from her job as a print finisher, due to mental health problems and is facing bankruptcy.

She admitted drinking half a bottle of rum prior to the crash.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “There was a relationship breakdown and, as a consequence, the defendant was left in significant financial difficultly.

“She has little recollection as to how she became involved in the collision.”

Tunstall was given a six-month community order with 10 days specified activity and an eight-week night-time curfew.

She was told to pay £85 costs and £60 surcharge.