A MOTHER caught drink driving four times over the limit in Bromsgrove was using alcohol to help deal with her post-natal depression, a court heard.
Stacy Guthrie, of West Hill, in Skegby, appeared before Redditch Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (June 2) and pleaded guilty to driving on the M42 whilst drunk on June 16.
The court heard two concerned members of the public had called 999 to report a Volkswagen Beetle drifting between the lanes and driving slowly about 9.30am.
Prosecuting, Adrian Jones said an off-duty police officer was also driving on the M42 at the time with his partner and witnessed everything.
He added the officer saw the car pull over onto the hard shoulder before he did the same but in front of her so she could not drive off. He then waited with Guthrie until police arrived.
The court heard when officers got there they found a number of empty bottles in her car and could smell alcohol on her breath.
After refusing to do a roadside breath test the 33-year-old was arrested and taken to a police station were she eventually gave a sample. She measured as having 137 microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath.
Defending, Mr Newey said Guthrie had two young sons who she was the sole dependant for.
He added since her second son was born, five years ago, she has suffered from post-natal depression and anxiety but had never sought help, suffering through it for the sake of her children.
Mr Newey said the defendant had been really struggling and on occasions would use alcohol to make herself feel better.
He added Guthrie had been out the night before and had thought she would have been alright to drive because she had slept.
Mr Newey said the incident had triggered a response in Gurthrie and made her realise she needed to seek help – she has now sought help from the doctors and counselling he added.
The court heard Guthrie had a similar previous conviction from back in 2012.
Chairman of the bench Tony Elmes described it as a ‘very serious offence’ especially because of the high alcohol reading.
“This with the second offence crosses the custody threshhold but we feel that would be unsuitable for you, given your circumstances.”
Gurthrie was handed a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 20 activity days focused on alcohol awareness.
The magistrates also ordered her to pay a £115 fine, costs of £85, a £60 victim surcharge and a court charge of £150.
She was also banned from driving for 40 months.