Drink-driver, 65, crashed into car on way home from wine-tasting event
A drink-driving grandmother has appeared in court after crashing into another vehicle on her way home from a wine-tasting event.
Yvonne Stone appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to admit driving with 149 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - nearly twice the limit of 80mg.
The 65-year-old chose to drive home from Stowmarket railway station after returning by train from a wine-tasting event in Ipswich on August 16 last year.
While travelling back towards The Street, in Westhorpe, Stone's Volkswagen Golf collided with the front of another car waiting at a junction to enter Pound Hill, in Bacton.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said Stone was arrested on suspicion of failing to provide a sample of breath following five unsuccessful attempts at the roadside - but was later charged with drink-driving based on the results of a blood test taken at hospital.
The other motorist involved in the collision described Stone's driving as "erratic", and that she appeared intoxicated after struggling to find the right gear to reverse her vehicle free from the wreckage.
Ms Small said: "The offence was aggravated by the fact she was involved in a road traffic collision."
Jeremy Kendall, mitigating, asked magistrates to award Stone full credit for entering a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.
Presenting magistrates with a parking ticket valid until the following day, Mr Kendall said Stone had left her car at Stowmarket railway station with no intention of driving home, but had been unable to arrange a taxi and made the "foolish" decision to get behind the wheel.
Mr Kendall said Stone accepted she may have been at fault for the collision, but that she disputed the other driver's account of her attempting to drive away from the scene, claiming she was moving her car to a safer location.
He said Stone failed to provide a specimen of breath at the roadside due to suffering a heavy cold.
"She lives in a relatively remote village, badly served by public transport, which means a heavy penalty will be served by disqualification," he added.
"Her intention was to get a lift back in the morning to pick up her car. It was a foolish error, but it was never her intention to drive home."
Stone was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £292.