An ‘utterly irresponsible’ mum was more than two and a half times over the drink drive limit when she crashed and overturned her car with her two young children inside, a court heard yesterday.
Emma Williams, 36, had been drinking heavily before driving her children 10 miles to a swimming lesson in Stroud – and it was on the way back home to Gloucester that she hit the kerb and crashed on the A46 at Pitchcombe, Gloucester crown court was told.
Another motorist on the road at the time saw Williams’ Skoda Yeti on its side with the airbags deployed and smoke inside the vehicle, said prosecutor James Ward.
“The witness stopped to assist and heard screaming from inside the car, which was full of smoke from the airbags,” he added.
“The defendant was clearly dazed, no doubt as a result of the accident. There were two children in the car who were screaming.
“The ambulance arrived and the defendant was able to stand but had clearly been affected by the accident. The children were taken care of.”
Williams, of Colebridge Avenue, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her blood on July 30, 2019.
The prosecution did not proceed with a charge of dangerous driving.
The prosecutor said the crash happened at 7pm as Williams drove home from the swimming lesson at Stratford Park, Stroud.
Three hours after the collision she gave a blood alcohol reading of 213mgs, he said. The legal limit is 80mgs – meaning that she was more than two and a half times over the limit. But the fact she was not tested for three hours indicated the level would have been higher at the time of the crash, he added.
After hearing that she had a drink problem at the time but was now tackling it, Judge Michael Cullum sentenced her to an 18 months community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and a six months alcohol treatment requirement. He banned her from driving for two years.
The judge told her: “You were utterly irresponsible, albeit in the grips of alcohol, to get into that vehicle. You didn’t have to put your children in that car and you didn’t have to risk their lives. That must never ever happen again.”