Ipswich drink-driver more than four times limit with child in car is spared prison

Victoria McCormack leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Victoria McCormack leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court.

A drink-driving mother who was four-and-a-half times the limit when she went to buy wine with a child has been spared jail.

The town’s magistrates heard Victoria McCormack, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, was deeply ashamed of herself for what she had done after bingeing on vodka, sherry and wine.

The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to driving while above the legal alcohol limit, and being drunk in charge of a child under seven years of age.

The offences occurred on July 12.

A breath test showed she had 157 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said police were called by a member of the public who said they had been to Premier Stores in Greenfinch Avenue and saw a female get out of a Peugeot which was parked in a layby.

The woman looked as if she had been struggling to exit the vehicle.

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The witness saw the woman – McCormack – at the counter of the shop with a young child. McCormack had a bottle of wine with her.

The court heard she left the store and was unsteady on her feet. At one stage McCormack stumbled into a parked vehicle.

She appeared to be drunk and still had the young child with her. McCormack put the infant in the rear of her car and got in.

Ms Small said after McCormack pulled away, she narrowly missing a parked vehicle and mounted the kerb on the opposite side of the road. She was then seen to turn into Robin Drive.

When police arrived at McCormack’s home she was standing on the path outside and had the child with her.

Magistrates were told she was clearly drunk.

In her police interview McCormack said she had been stupid and should not have driven and had personal issues she was trying to sort out.

McCormack claimed she had not consumed alcohol for about two months, but had relapsed.

She had drunk alcohol at home and then went to buy more.

McCormack, who was said to have overcome a drug addiction, also admitted she has a drink problem.

A probation officer, who compiled a pre-sentence report, said: “She feels very ashamed by her actions, and can’t really remember the journey.

“She tends to binge and this is what happened on this occasion.”

The court was told McCormack has self-referred herself for professional help.

Magistrates gave McCormack a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and disqualified her from driving for 36 months.

She was fined £160, and ordered to pay £45 costs as well as £115 to the victims’ fund.