Mum sentenced for drink drive school run

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A MUM was arrested at the school gates after driving to pick her nine-year-old child up from school whilst more than three times over the legal drink drive limit.

Tanya Howard, 45, of Old Forewood Lane, Crowhurst, didn’t keep track of how many glasses of wine she had drunk before leaving for the school run at 3.40pm on July 12, her solicitor told a hearing at Hastings Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Howard had been drinking wine from a box at home before getting in her car and driving to collect her child from Crowhurst Primary School - which was just a 12 minute walk away from her home.

Concerned onlookers called police after seeing Howard’s Vauxhall Zafira ‘sideswipe’ a Ford Mondeo.

Howard didn’t stop and kept driving.

Police officers breathalysed Howard at the school gates.

They found she had 125mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal limit is just 35mcg.

She was arrested and charged.

Howard pleaded guilty before a district judge at the court hearing this week.

Bespectacled Howard had no previous convictions and just three points on her licence for speeding.

Ronan Crummy, defending, said: “This was a one off incident.

“She was at home on the day in question.

“While her child was at school, she was doing housework and also drinking from a wine box that was in the fridge.

“She did not finish the glass and went to top it up frequently and that’s probably how this problem occurred as she did not keep track on how much she drank.”

He said Howard had “many years of exemplary driving”.

Mr Crummy added: “It was a very bad judgement call to go into school on that day.

“She fully co-operated with the school and with the police.

“She has been to her GP, she has discussed any issues there may be with alcohol”

He added that the red-haired housewife was “extremely contrite and extremely remorseful.”

Mr Crummy said: “Her family are in court, but they are outside as she wants to spare them any further anguish.”

Howard was sentenced to a community order and must complete 90 hours of unpaid work.

She was banned for driving for 28 months, but this could be reduced if she chooses to take part in a drink drive rehabilitation course.

Howard must pay £85 court costs.