Saffron Walden woman, 46, narrowly avoids prison after found four times over the drink driving limit

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 June 2017

Colchester Magistrates' Court. Picture: ABBIE WEAVING

Colchester Magistrates' Court. Picture: ABBIE WEAVING

Archant

A 46-year-old drink driver from Saffron Walden who almost caused a head-on collision has narrowly avoided prison.

Georgina Haupt, of Peaslands Road, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle while above the alcohol limit at Colchester Magistrates Court on June 1.

Police were called on May 1 after a motorist spotted Haupt driving erratically in Birchanger Lane, Bishop’s Stortford, around 6.45pm.

Stephen Sparkes, prosecuting, said: “They [the motorist] came round the corner and in front saw a vehicle not moving, but not parked. As they went to overtake the vehicle, it started moving forward.”

Mr Sparkes added: “It started to drive erratically, but very slowly and they noticed damage to the offside mirror. They follow it and see it nearly causing a head-on collision.”

Haupt’s car was also close to crossing the central reservation.

The court heard the motorist then called 999 and started taking pictures of the car, shouting at Haupt to stop.

“The vehicle carries on and goes down a pedestrian street and narrowly misses parked cars,” Mr Sparkes said, adding the motorist followed Haupt for 25 minutes before police arrived.

Once at the police station, Haupt had a reading of 140 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the limit being 35.

In mitigation, Paul Cammiss said the last few years had been “traumatic” for the defendant after her marriage broke down.

He added that Haupt had to move house and in April was prescribed anti-depressants.

He said: “She had only just started taking them when it came to May 1. She had been out the night before and had had some drink then, and a glass of wine at lunchtime the day of the incident.”

“It is fair to say she has been very distressed over the last few weeks,” he added.

Chairman of the bench, Michael Ferrier, told Haupt: “This is a very high reading and some seriously bad driving.”

She was handed a 12-week suspended sentence for a year, and a community order requiring 200 hours of unpaid work.

Haupt was also disqualified from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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