Drunken driver avoid being sent to prison

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A drunken women who repeatedly crashed her car into another vehicle and then drove off has escaped being sent to prison.

Jaswinder O’Hara had committed exactly the same crime six years ago, a judge was told.

O’Hara, a 46-year-old mother, of Meadow Close, Clifton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop after an accident.

She was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for 12 months, banned from the road for four years and ordered to pay £85 costs plus £60 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Meirion Lewis-Jones sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The judge told her: “You have to understand that driving a motor vehicle when you have had such a large amount of alcohol can have lethal consequences for other road users and pedestrians. Repeating your behaviour of six years ago is extremely worrying.”

Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said a woman returned to her car on the Mill Street car park, Kirkham on March 12 at 7.15pm. She saw O’Hara had run into the rear of her car.

O’Hara had her head in the steering wheel and did not respond when the woman complained.

O’Hara reversed into the woman’s car again and then her Corsa started rolling towards another vehicle.

The victim took a picture of O’Hara’s car, including the number plate, as she drove off, almost crashing into a bush. Police spotted O’Hara on Preston Old Road where she stalled her car and then mounted the kerb as she turned into a cul-de-sac at Clifton.

She told police she was suicidal and had swallowed tablets, so she was taken to hospital. A blood test taken there showed she was more than two-and-a-half times over the limit with 210 millilitres of alcohol in her body - 80 is the limit. She had a previous conviction for drink- driving and failing to stop in 2008.

Carl Miller, defending, said in 2008 his client had witnessed the death of a friend’s child when she choked on a grape. O’Hara was also working as a carer and one of her patients had died. Mr Miller added: “There have been problems with her son. When she does not cope she drinks.”

She has panic attacks and suffers from depression, for which she is now receiving help.”