A YOUNG woman has revealed how drinking then driving can ruin your life.
Sophie Lawler-Dickens, 20, from St Annes Road, South Shore, saw her life turned upside down when the car she was driving hit a wall outside her home in October.
The barmaid was drinking at her home when she went out to her friend’s Citroen Saxo car to collect a CD.
With her friend in the passenger seat, she started the ignition and the car ploughed through a neighbour’s wall as she lost control of the vehicle.
Miss Lawler-Dickens, who was hoping to have a career in childcare before the incident, told The Gazette: “It makes me feel sick and so disappointed in myself.
“I have let all my family down and it’s just horrible.
“As soon as the police turned up I thought everything I have worked for has gone down the drain.
“It has cost me a job, a career I have been working for, and now I can’t drive.”
Miss Lawler-Dickens – who was not wearing a seatbelt – suffered facial injuries when her head hit the windscreen.
She was breathalysed and arrested and later charged with driving with excess alcohol, aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle and document offences.
After appearing at Blackpool Magistrates’ court she was given a ten-month driving ban, a £300 fine, and was ordered to pay costs.
The 20-year-old also gave up her own Renault Clio to the friend who lost her car in the crash.
She added: “Everyone knows when you are at a point when you should stop drinking.
“It is not even worth it.
“I remember looking at my friend and thinking ‘Oh my God’ I have killed her.
“The police arrested me, put me in the van and I was so hysterical I don’t remember being there.”
Miss Lawler-Hosfield’s mother, Gail Lawler-Hosfield, 48, also revealed her shock at the incident.
She said: “We were all terrified going to court.
“I felt really let down and disappointed.
“But I now feel quite proud of her for doing this.
“My daughter has made a mistake but hopefully she will learn from it.”
Sgt Steve Hardman, of Lancashire police’s road policing unit, said: “At this time of year we know there is a risk that more people will consider getting behind the wheel after they’ve had a drink or two.
“Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink is punishable with up to six months’ imprisonment, together with a fine of up to £5,000 and disqualification from driving for at least 12 months – three years if convicted twice in 10 years.
“In this case, she was also lucky that she only hit a wall and not a pedestrian, as the consequences could have proved fatal.
“Interestingly, during our summer drink drive campaign we found that more young women under 25 were offending than young men – a pattern that is reversed in the rest of the county.
“However, this lady’s story should serve as a warning to anyone – male or female – that you should never drink and drive.”