A DRIVER has been banned for 40 months after she was caught nearly three times over the limit.
Susan Lowthian, 46, of Queens Crescent, who had already been banned once, appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday where she admitted drink driving following her arrest on May 23.
Heather Salvage, prosecuting, told the court that Lowthian had cut up another motorist before both cars pulled into the Tesco supermarket on Lottbridge Drove – with Lowthian stopping her car ‘in a manner which was more abandoned than parked’.
The other driver went over to see if she was ok but smelled alcohol on her breath and removed her car keys. Lowthian took them back before walking off.
She was soon stopped by police who took her to the station and gave her a blood test, which registered 236mcgs per 100ml of blood.
Magistrates ordered a report into Lowthian’s offending, and probation officer John Cooke told the court that she used booze as an emotional crutch during times of depression or anxiety.
He added, “She said in this instance was triggered after she found out her dad had cancer.
“She acknowledges alcohol is not the answer.”
Magistrates were then told that Lowthian had been to see her GP to address her problems and was consulting a councillor in an effort to develop coping mechanisms which did not involve alcohol.
“She recognises the damage and affect alcohol has on her and aims to remain abstinent,” she Mr Cooke.
“She understands the danger she posed on the night of the offence and she is quite ashamed of that.”
Terry Ballard, defending, added, “Lessons have been learned.”
As well as the lengthy ban, Lowthian was also ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and cough up £85 in court costs.
Mr Cooke said, “She wants the opportunity to pay back the community.”