When Elaine Morley first approached us for help, it was not herself she was worried about. She told us she had been charged with a drink driving offence, on a breath-alcohol reading of 64mg, but that she had only driven after receiving a call from her distraught partner asking for a lift home.
Elaine explained to us that she had been at home, enjoying a drink of wine with her evening meal, when she received a call from her partner saying his organised lift had been cancelled without any warning. Before we could ask why an alternative method of transport had not been arranged instead, Elaine informed us that her partner has multiple serious health issues, including a severe visual impairment, and that he had essentially been left stranded in a poorly-lit and isolated rural location. When she received his call, she told us, she just reacted without thinking of the consequences. Her partner was very upset, she explained, and worried for his safety. He did not realise she had been drinking and she did not tell him this.
After taking a full and detailed statement from Elaine, together with plenty of background information regarding her partner’s health issues, we appointed one of our tried and trusted barristers to represent her at the hearing at Worksop Magistrates’ Court. Having discussed with Elaine her possible sentence according to the Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines, she said she was hoping for a disqualification of around 17 months, which is the lowest disqualification period for the second category (breath-alcohol readings between 60mg and 89mg).
We were delighted to take the call from the barrister, after Elaine’s hearing, informing us that the District Judge had been so moved by Elaine’s story that a disqualification of just 12 months – the minimum possible – had been imposed. The drink drive rehabilitation course had also been offered, completion of which will reduce the disqualification period by 3 months.
When we spoke to Elaine after the hearing, she was delighted. As she told us at the very beginning, her concern was always for her partner, and the impact her disqualification would have on his life. The District Judge recognised this as a valid concern, used her discretion and sentenced accordingly.
For more details on Drink driving see our Drink Driving page.
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