Driving ban for drink-drive school run mum

PUBLISHED: 14:04 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:04 31 January 2017

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4928. Picture: Terry Ife

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4928. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A school run mum with young children in the car who was found to be over the legal drink drive limit has been banned from driving for more than two years by magistrates

A mother was three and a half times the drink drive limit during a school run – with her two youngest children in the car.

Penny Keys, was followed by an off duty police officer who saw her driving erratically in her VW Passat one day last July.

The cop saw a woman and two children in the car as she drove into the seaside town of Exmouth, Devon.

A court heard she was driving very slowly, then sped up, veered across the road and nearly struck an elderly woman in a wheelchair by a roundabout.

Prosecutor Philip Sewell said: “The vehicle did not stop, it was a near miss.”

Keys, aged 44, of Windmill Lane, Ottery St Mary, told polices she had drunk a glass of wine and was going through a divorce.

She was taken to hospital and there a blood sample was taken which showed 271mg of alcohol in her blood – the legal top limit for driving is just 80mg.

A probation officer told Exeter magistrates court yesterday that Keys, of Ottery St Mary, Devon, was ‘very remorseful and regretful’ and ‘shocked at her own behaviour’.

He said her husband had started a new relationship with a woman and she had been left with a large tax liability from his company.

The probation officer told the court: “In the last three years she has experienced psychological, financial and emotional abuse from her husband.”

He said Keys, who used to be in the RAF, took to alcohol to cope.

She has four children aged 21, 14, 11 and nine and was the sole carer for the youngest three who are still living at her isolated rented country home where she has horses, cats and dogs.

Keys told the JPs: “I don’t have a penny to my name. I need to get divorced.

“My husband has made my life hell. It is mental torture.

“There is no excuse for what I have done.”

Keys failed to turn up for her trial last month and the drink drive trial was proved in her absence.

The magistrates banned her from driving for 28 months, ordered her to pay £285 in court costs, and she was told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work as part of a one year community order.

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