Drink driver banned after overturning car

The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court

The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court

First published in News

The owner of a chocolate shop who had claimed to have drunk brandy to calm her nerves following an accident was found guilty by Skipton magistrates of drink-driving.

Jacqueline Sadler, 49, was taken to hospital after overturning her car on a single track road on her way home to Masongill, Ingleton, on February 2, the court heard.

Sadler, who claimed to have drunk just one large glass of red wine less than a hour earlier, was left upside down in the Lexus convertible for up to 15 minutes before she was helped out by a local farmer.

She was driven home where she claimed to have changed out of her clothes and drunk a further large glass of red wine and some brandy before going to her neighbour’s house. From there, she was taken to Lancaster Hospital, but not before being stopped on route by a police officer who carried out a positive breath test.

A further blood test, taken four hours later at the hospital at 11.15pm, revealed she had 177 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit is 80.

Sadler, who denied drink-driving, told the court she had drunk a 250ml glass of red wine at Plato’s in Kirkby Lonsdale at around 5.20pm with a member of her shop staff before driving home and overturning her car after hitting some fallen stones in the road.

After being driven home, she said she had changed out of her clothes and drunk another glass of Merlot wine, and more than a half tumbler full of brandy in an attempt to calm her nerves.

Her neighbour, Jocelyn Pearson, said Sadler had turned up at the house in a dressing gown and slippers and with wet hair, having clearly had a shower.

She had not smelt of alcohol and when she had gone to her friend’s house to lock up, she had seen a wine glass and tumbler left on the draining board.

Her husband, Robin Sadler, who was away on business in Birmingham, said he had spoken to his wife on the telephone, when she confirmed what she had drunk and that he had advised her to seek help next door as he had been concerned about the car blocking the road.

An forensic scientist, called by her defence, said based on evidence provided by Sadler, estimated the reading of alcohol in blood would have been 165.

He added that there was no way Sadler would have been over the limit having drunk just 250ml of red wine.

But magistrates said they found the evidence of the two police officers in the case to be credible and commented that the officer who took the blood test had noted that Sadler smelt of alcohol.

They said only Sadler knew how much she had drunk and that they found her evidence to be inconsistent.

They banned her from driving for 20 months and fined her £280, with costs of £620 and a victims surcharge of £28. If she completes a drink-drivers rehabilitation course, her ban will be reduced by a quarter.

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