Business owner and young mum banned for drink driving

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A business owner was caught over the limit after police found her in a BMW which was covered in sick, a court heard.

Young mum Tara Harris had stopped half on a grass verge, at just after midnight in Preston. She was slurring her words, her eyes were bloodshot and she appeared drunk.

Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told Burnley Magistrates' Court: "Vomit was smeared along the side of the car, which had a fresh smell to it."

The 22-year-old, whose male passenger had his head in his hands, blew almost twice the limit at the roadside, but didn't give a breath test at the police station, blaming anxiety. She instead gave a sample which showed 116 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Mr John Rusius (defending) said Harris had been out with a friend for a meal and was planning to stay over, but received a message from her mother saying her daughter was ill and she needed to get back home.

Her friend was driving at first, he became ill and was sick and she had only just taken over when they came across a road closure. She pulled over to look at a map on her phone and the police officer came over to ask if she was alright.

The solicitor continued: "The officer must have noticed the smell of alcohol on her breath. She provided a specimen at the roadside. That was over the limit, which surprised her somewhat. She was asked to provide another sample at the police station, but she was so upset she was unable to do so."

"She is really devastated by the fact she was over the limit and very upset about that. She has her own business. She is hoping she can manage to keep the business going, but that will prove very difficult. The business doesn't make a huge profit in any event, but it's very important to her. She would wish to apologise."

Harris, of Quakers View, Brierfield, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Blackpool Road, Preston, on July 9th.

The magistrates, who told her: "We hope this is a lifelong learning curve," fined her £300 and told her to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was banned for 12 months.