DOZENS have appeared before a city court charged with drink-driving offences throughout December.
At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, a trio of motorists were stripped of their licences and handed lengthy bans after pleading guilty to the crime.
Two of them, the court heard, were even drunk behind the wheel on Christmas Day.
Mother-of-three Sarah Kast of Shepherd Way, Havant, was handed a 40-month ban after driving above the limit on the evening of December 25.
After consuming three glasses of wine as she cooked dinner during the day, the court heard she later drove to buy milk for her children.
It was then she hit a central reservation along Purbrook Way, panicked and called police to report the offence.
A test revealed 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of her breath – indicating she was more than twice the legal limit.
Representing Kast – who has served two previous driving bans – Kate Watts told judges: ‘One of her kids has has septo-optic dysplasia – the same condition celebrity Katie Price’s son Harvey has.
‘If my client is given a ban, she will not be able to take him to school.’
Regardless, the court took away her for licence and ordered she pay a £120 fine, £85 in costs and a £30 charge.
Next, the court heard the case of 29-year-old Joe McQuilken of West Street, Hambledon.
He was pulled over by police in the early hours of Christmas Day after noticably swaying over white lines in Norway Road, Hilsea.
A breath test showed he was 26 microgrammes of alcohol over the limit.
Pitching his case to the court – explaining he had never appeared in court – Kate Watts said: ‘His wife had recently left him. To say he was devastated would not be doing him justice.
‘He had a few beers – he fully accepts he was over the limit.’
Magistrates handed him a £200 fine and a 17-month driving ban – with the chance to reduce it by 17 weeks.
Presiding, Nicholas Wells told McQuelkin: ‘We can offer you a driving awareness course which you must pay for, but that will reduce your ban.’
The last of Tuesday’s bans for drink-driving was handed to 24-year-old Jamie Dunlop of Farmside Gardens, Hilsea.
The court heard he was driving his two brothers along London Road in Widley, on December 24, when he hit a pole and a stationary car with 77 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of his breath.
While no one was injured in the accident, the court opted to ban him for 40 months – his second driving offence within three years – and enforced a £300 fine, £85 in costs and a £35 victim surcharge.
Dishing out his sentence, Mr Wells told Dunlop: ‘You were responsible for those people in your car and you could have killed someone if you hit them.
‘We can not offer you a course. You have had one before and clearly it has made little difference.’