Estate agent banned for drink driving

Angela Jones

An estate agent who drove while three times over the drink-drive limit has been banned from the roads.

Angela Jones was so drunk that she almost crashed into a police patrol car.

Jones was attempting to pick up her child from school when she came to the attention of police while at the wheel of her Audi Q3 on the M20 near Maidstone on 1 May.

After seeing the 49-year-old swerving in between lanes officers requested her to stop on Chatham Road, Maidstone, a slip road off the motorway, and she almost hit their car.

The mother-of-two gave a reading of 115 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, making her more than three times the legal limit which is is 35 microgrammes.

Jones, of Osprey Close, Allington, Maidstone, was later charged with drink-driving and admitted the offence when she appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court on 16 May.

James Nichols prosecuting said: “It was about midday and she was seen driving on the M20 and on the slip road between junctions five and six she was seen swerving in the lanes and almost hit the police car.

“She was pulled over and gave a positive reading at the roadside and gave a reading of 115 back at the station.”

Andrew Main, defending, told the court on the day she was pulled over she had been drinking as it was her day off, but that she had a call to say her elder son was unwell and needed picking up as he had a migraine.

He added: “She initially refused but he has autism and got upset. She didn’t feel that bad (to drive), it was a poor decision.”

Mr Main also said losing her licence would have an enormous impact on his client’s life.

He added: “She’s an estate agent and is not going to be able to do that, she can’t face the shame [of telling her bosses] so will be resigning and will leave (the company).”

“She’s embarrassed and ashamed that she will not be able to drive, she knows where she stands.”

A probation officer also interviewed Jones before she was sentenced and the bench heard the defendant was not a heavy drinker and that drinking was not an issue and that no one else had been in the vehicle at the time.

Magistrates banned Jones from driving for 23 months and said that was the lower end of their sentencing guidelines as she was of previous good character, had admitted her guilt on the first opportunity and showed remorse.

They also placed her on a 12-month community order which will see her complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of £114 and if she completes a drink-driving course, her ban will be reduced by five months.

Magistrates ordered she pays the court what she owes within 28 days.

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