Almost three times the drink-drive limit

Web tile courts
Web tile courts

Police were alerted to a drink-driver almost three times the limit in Buxton because she was driving without her headlights on in the early hours of the morning, a court heard.

Officers on London Road at 2.30am on December 1 saw a Ford Focus coming up behind them with no lights on, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

They pulled over to let the vehicle go in front and then followed it along London Road, illuminating their blue lights, but the car failed to stop, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

The Ford Focus, which was travelling at about 20 miles an hour, then turned right onto Harpur Hill Road so they followed it up to the roundabout when it turned round and went back down Harpur Hill Road. The officers still had their blue lights on but the Focus, which was travelling very slowly and swerving across the road, again failed to stop so they activated the siren. The car continued onto London Road when another police car arrived and was able to stop it by pulling in front of it.

When officers approached the Focus, they noticed the driver, Harriet Baxter, smelt strongly of alcohol. Her eyes were glazed and her speech was slurred. She failed a roadside breath test so was arrested and taken back to the police station where she provided a reading of 101, the legal limit is 35.

Baxter, 24, of Hollins Street, admitted drink-driving.

Representing herself in court, she told the magistrates she had been out for the evening with a friend but they had got separated. She said she couldn’t remember anything of the night but that she thought she had been assaulted and had her phone stolen while walking back to her house.

“My brother works in Harpur Hill and I believe that is where I must have been going,” she said. “I don’t remember anything. It’s just a mystery. I think I was trying to get away from danger.”

Chairman of the Bench Michael Hilton said: “You have pleaded guilty to an offence of drink driving at a very high level. You were just about three times the drink-drive limit. We know from the training we receive that people who are twice the drink-drive limit are 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident and you were considerably more than that.

“You were a serious risk to road users, pedestrians and other people who were around.”

She was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. She must pay costs of £200, a surcharge of £60 and was banned from driving for 24 months.