A WOMAN who blocked police officers rushing to the aid of a colleague in trouble has been banned from driving.
Sharon Whiteley, of Eastoke Avenue, Hayling Island, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court after being caught during Hampshire police’s annual Christmas drink-drive crackdown.
The 47-year-old carer for elderly people was caught drink-driving on December 7 after she had been out for lunch with friends. She drank three glasses of wine, returned home and had a nap.
But the court heard she was late for work and jumped in her car – and was then pulled over by police responding to a call to help another officer.
Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, said: ‘The officers were en route to that and had blue lights flashing. It was an emergency call.
‘They went to overtake the defendant’s vehicle. But she doesn’t react to the police car. She’s in the middle of the road straddling white lines and the sirens change to a different noise, and she still doesn’t move. She’s swerving on to the wrong side of the road.
‘The officers on a different call now suspect she may be drink-driving.’
She had difficulty giving a breath test after getting out her Renault Megane in Southwood Road, Hayling, at about 7.45pm, but did eventually complete the test at a police station.
It revealed she had 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than double the 35mg legal limit.
Whiteley, who was previously banned for drink-driving in 2007, faces a disciplinary at work, the court heard.
She’s in the middle of the road straddling white lines and the sirens change to a different noise, and she still doesn’t moveGiles Fletcher
Chairwoman of the magistrates Rosemary Coxon banned Whiteley from driving for 40 months with a £200 fine, £85 costs, a £20 victim fee and £150 court fee.
Magistrates also dealt with Andy Hind, 20, of Paignton Avenue, Copnor, yesterday. He was caught nearly double the drink-drive limit at 66mg in 100 millilitres of breath on December 5.
He had left a pub when police were called tipping them off he was over the limit. They saw him speeding at 38 miles an hour in a 20mph zone in Folkestone Road.
Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, said: ‘They flash the headlights but the defendant’s car doesn’t stop, goes driving on a number of roads before eventually arriving at his home.’
In a document read out in court, Hind claimed he had been with his girlfriend fleeing a fight at the pub.
The document said: ‘I decided to get in my car to ensure the safety of myself and my girlfriend.’
It added he had no phone to use and the staff did not help call for help.
Mrs Coxon said: ‘There were other things that you could have done and help that you could have sought that you didn’t.’
He was banned for 18 months with a £280 fine, costs of £85, a £20 victim surcharge and a £150 criminal courts charge.
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘These cases again highlight the serious life-changing consequences at court for motorists who take the risk of driving under the influence.
‘Our regular patrols are continuing all throughout Christmas.’