Exmouth drink-driver had child aboard

PUBLISHED: 11:19 07 January 2011

Archant

AN Eagle-eyed witness followed a drink driver who was later found by police near a school with a child in her car, a court has heard.

AN eagle-eyed witness followed a drink driver, who was later found by police near a school with a child in her car, a court has heard.

Tearful Samantha Hockings, 33, was banned from driving for a year after she admitted getting behind the wheel while well over the legal alcohol limit.

Hockings, of Copperfield Close, Exmouth, pleaded guilty to the charge when she appeared at Central Devon Magistrates Court last Thursday.

The court heard she had 56mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Prosecutor Alison Jordan told magistrates Hockings was spotted driving in an “erratic manner” by another motorist in Budleigh Salterton on December 7, last year.

She added the concerned witness then followed Hockings’ Ford Galaxy, seen “bouncing off of the kerb” at one point, to another East Devon town where it stopped near a school.

The court then heard Hockings was “almost unable to stand” when she exited the vehicle and entered a nearby building. At this point the witness dialled 999.

Police found Hockings in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. A young child was with her, magistrates were told.

The prosecutor said Hockings, an alcoholic, admitted in a police interview she had consumed a quarter of a litre of alcohol that morning. She had made the journey to collect the child.

Hockings cried as she told magistrates she was getting help for an alcohol problem.

She was banned from driving for 12-months by magistrates who warned her: “Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel of a car.”

The chairman of the bench added: “The concern is you admit you were over the top and you were driving by a school, where there were kids around.”

The Exmouth woman was also ordered to pay fines and charges totalling £300.

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