Woman caught drink driving on Christmas Day

Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A WOMAN who was caught drink driving on Christmas Day after she hit a parked car has been banned from the road.

Lisa Ryves, from St Johns Road, Locks Heath, appeared at Fareham Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with driving while over the limit.

The court heard how the 40-year old hit a car parked on Locks Heath Park Road at about 11.50pm on Christmas Day.

Prosecuting Andrew Newman told the court that an off-duty police officer heard the bang and came out of a house to find Ryves closing the door of her Mini Cooper and staggering about.

When he asked Ryves what had happened, she replied “I have just hit that car.” When he told her that he was an off-duty police officer she said “thanks, I should’ve just driven off.”

Ryves admitted driving with 118mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath — more than three times the limit.

She represented herself and told the magistrates that she had gone to a friend’s house instead of being alone on Christmas Day, as her parents were sick and her son had gone to see his father.

She said: ‘I had no intention of driving home. We drank wine and when that ran out we started drinking vodka.

‘It was an error of judgement. I don’t know why I got into my car but I did.’

The court heard that she may have got into the car as she did not want to walk home in the dark as she may have felt unsafe.

Chair of the magistrates Malcolm Hogg said: ‘You have pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. We have taken into account that you are of previous good character and we understand this was a series of unfortunate and very unwise decisions. Counting against that was a road traffic accident and a very high reading.’

He disqualified Ryves for 28 months, which she can reduce by seven months by completing a drink driver awareness course.

He also sentenced Ryves to do 40 hours of unpaid work and she must pay £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

This latest successful prosecution comes as police figures show that Hampshire Constabulary caught more drink drivers in December than the year before - a one per cent increase - despite a widely-publicised campaign warning people of the dangers.