A piece in today’s Times, emphases ours:
A drunk mother furious with her teenage son for being pulled over by police got behind the wheel to “show him how to drive” before smashing into a wall.
Amanda Lotte, a former camera safety technician for Cumbria police, felt “angry” and let down by her son, Edgar, and was trying to teach him a lesson after he was caught by officers for driving without due care and attention, a court heard.
She had drunk five glasses of wine, putting her over twice the legal limit, when her son returned home at about 10pm on March 3 and was said to have told him: “If you want a race and to recklessly drive I will show you how to recklessly drive.”
That night an amber weather warning was in place for the Beast from the East.
Wearing only a T-shirt and her underwear, Lotte, 57, got behind the wheel of the Vauxhall Astra. Her son sat in the passenger seat. She drove the car at up to 60mph, skidding and sliding on icy single-track roads, and mounted verges and snow drifts before crashing into a dry-stone wall.
Both airbags exploded and half a tonne of stones fell on to the bonnet of the car.
Farmers near by heard the crash and rushed to help but Lotte wouldn’t get out of the car and drove home with a flat tyre.
Lotte, from Great Salkeld, Cumbria, was arrested and taken to the police station, where a blood sample revealed that she had 172mcg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mcg.
She pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while over the legal alcohol limit when she appeared at North and West Cumbria magistrates’ court.
Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, recited from Mr Lotte’s account: “She set off very, very quickly. The car was sliding all over the road because of compacted ice. I felt scared because we were sliding about and scared about how she was driving.”
Lotte told police that she had felt let down by her son, was “angry” and was trying to teach him a lesson.
In mitigation, her lawyer, Steve Oldham, referred to her charity work, clear record and support from family and friends. He said that the only thing needed to do was to “build a relationship with her son”.
District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “This was an appalling and shocking piece of driving. The weather conditions at the time were awful and people were advised only to drive if necessary.”
He said that Lotte’s volunteer work showed that she was a woman of good character and he suspended a 60-day prison sentence for 12 months. She was ordered to carry out 80 days of unpaid work and was banned from driving for 20 months.
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