Angela Hinton (pictured), 55, was arrested in her Mini Cooper on the M58 in Merseyside after she was seen driving her Mini after a vodka binge
A woman has avoided jail for being five times over the drinking limit when police caught her swerving onto the freeway at 40mph after binge drinking.
Police gave Angela Hinton, 55, a breathalyzer test and the machine showed the drunk driver had more than five times the alcohol limit as she drove her car down a highway.
She was arrested in her Mini Cooper on the M58 near her home in Rainford, Merseyside, after an eyewitness spotted her climbing behind the wheel of the vehicle following a vodka binge.
Merseyside Police said the car was seen swerving into Lane 1 of the carriageway at 40mph in the moments before Hinton was stopped and breathalysed by officers.
A roadside breathalyzer showed she had 177 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath, well above the legal limit of 35 mcg per 100 ml.
Magistrates agreed to suspend her sentence and 84 hours of unpaid work after her lawyer said she was seeking help from a drug charity, Change Grow Life.
His drinking problem was caused by problems at home, his attorney Georgia Maudsley said.
She added that Hinton was in a hotel – the Park Hotel in Netherton – to get away from the family home and used alcohol to escape his problems.
This photo shows police waving a breathalyzer machine that showed Hinton had more than five times the alcohol limit as she drove her car along a highway. This test showed she had 177 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath, well above the legal limit of 35 mcg per 100 ml.
At the time of the incident, officers were so shocked by the reading that they posted a photo of the alcohol meter on Twitter, saying: “Thank you to the member of the public who contacted us about a possible drunk driver .”
“The vehicle came to a stop on the M58 and blew a staggering 177 to the side of the road. The legal limit is 35. This driver will remain in custody until brought to justice.
At Sefton Magistrates Court, Hinton pleaded guilty to drink-driving based on a lower reading at the police station which showed she had 157 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months and banned from driving for three years.
Miss Shannen Carey, prosecuting, said a report was made to police at 1.30pm on May 18 that a woman driving a blue Mini Cooper left the Park Hotel in Netherton after drinking a large quantity of vodka.
“The vehicle was sighted by the arresting officer, PC Hutchison, and the vehicle was followed.”
She added: “He was seen swerving into lane one of three on the M58 motorway traveling at 40mph. It was obviously dangerous for the public and for herself.
“She was arrested by the officer. She said she hadn’t had a drink that day.
“The officer detected a strong odor of intoxicants in the vehicle and asked the accused to sit in the back of the police vehicle where a roadside breathalyzer test was carried out.
“The reading was 177 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of roadside breath. She was taken into custody where the drunk driving procedure was completed.
“The lower of the two readings was 157 micrograms in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg/100ml.
“The defendant has a previous conviction for an unrelated offence.”
“She put her hands up and complied with police procedure, but she is struggling with her home life. She went to stay at the Park Hotel to get away from the problems of her family home and used alcohol to escape her problems,’ Hinton defense attorney Georgia Maudsley said.
In the defence’s mitigation, barrister Georgia Maudsley said: ‘This is undoubtedly a very serious offense and Mrs Hinton acknowledges this, given the amount of alcohol on her breath, the location on the road and how to drive.
“She put her hands up and complied with police procedure, but she is struggling with her home life. She went to stay at the Park Hotel to get away from the problems of her family home and used alcohol to escape her problems.
“She has started to engage with Change Grow Life and they are helping her. Any term of imprisonment may be suspended. She complied with the police, the courts and the probation service throughout this process.
“She has no relevant prior convictions and has fully accepted responsibility. She also acknowledges the cause of her offense and as a result, she has engaged with Change Grow Live.
Hinton was also ordered to perform 84 hours of unpaid labor and participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.
Bench chairman Brian Wilson said: “This is a very serious matter, however, we are prepared to suspend this sentence as you lack relevant prior convictions and we believe there is a realistic prospect of a pardon.” You have already asked for help.