Drunk mum drove kids to McDonalds for a burger
Updated 5:06pm Friday 27th June 2014 in News
A Gwendraeth Valley mum was twice the drink-drive limit when she drove her two young children to McDonalds for a burger, Llanelli magistrates have been told.
The 40-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at the Cross Hands branch of the fast-food chain after staff contacted the police at 7.45pm on June 5.
The woman, who was living in Cross Hands at the time of the offence but has since moved to Swansea, was confronted by officers while still in the takeaway’s car park.
Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, described how the branch manager contacted police after staff at the outlet’s drive-thru said they believed they had served a drink-driver.
“The female driver had pulled up at the service hatch with two young children in the car,” said Ms Morgan.
“While being served her demeanour was such that the staff member thought she had been drinking.
“When the police arrived the car was still in the car park and the woman was sitting in the driver’s seat.
“There was a five-year-old sitting in the front passenger seat. In the back was a one-year-old in a baby seat.
“The driver was eating a McDonalds.”
Tests showed she had 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
When interviewed, the woman said she had drunk two glasses of wine earlier in the evening.
“She decided to take the children to McDonalds for something to eat,” said Ms Morgan.
“She told police she was OK and felt fine to drive. She did not think she was over the limit.”
Graham Evans, defending, told magistrates: “This is a very sad case.
“She is a lady previously of absolutely clean character who had never been involved with the police or the courts before.”
Mr Evans said the woman has faced a difficult 12 months prior to the incident, including the breakdown of her marriage.
“She has faced significant difficulties and had been neglecting herself and not eating properly,” he said.
“Nothing unusual happened that day to trigger these events, but she concedes they were two large glasses of wine.
“She concedes there was a significant error of judgement.
“It is difficult for a mother to accept that on that evening she placed her children at risk, other road users at risk and herself at risk.
“When she got behind the wheel she believed she was capable of driving and capable of caring for her children.”
Mr Evans told the court that following the incident Social Services had carried out an assessment of the woman.
“They are satisfied that she is more than a capable parent and this was an aberration.”
The woman admitted driving a motor vehicle while over the limit and also pleaded guilty to being drunk in a public place while in charge of children under the age of seven.
She was banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £80 costs and a £20 legal surcharge.
She was fined £200 for the drink-drive offence and £75 for being drunk while in charge of children.
Magistrates told her: “We are satisfied that Social Services found no issues.”