A MUM caught drink-driving twice in a month after being ‘shopped’ by her family has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
Cheril Oldknow, aged 44, who was working as a child care deputy manager with pre-school children, also received a lengthy driving ban.
On both occasions she was caught, she had driven her Vauxhall Astra and been reported to the police by concerned members of her family and arrested at home.
The first offence was committed on July 21 when Oldknow gave a reading of 164mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood – more than double the 80mgs limit.
Then, on August 22, her reading was 115mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath – more than three times the 35mcgs limit.
Oldknow, of New Road, Barlborough, admitted both offences and received an eight-week jail term suspended for a year.
Chesterfield magistrates voiced concern that a child was in the car on the first occasion, saying Oldknow had taken a big risk and it was fortunate no collision occurred.
She was also given a one-year probation supervision order with £170 costs, and a three-year driving ban, to be cut by a quarter if she passes a drink-driving rehabilitation course.
Phil Bloore, defending, said the divorcee had four children – three grown-up, and a five-year-old son – and there had been ‘a complete breakdown’ with relatives leaving her virtually ostracised.
“She has numerous problems but she has been addressing them and she hasn’t been drinking regularly since the offences.
“She might need the threat of custody but she also needs as much help as she can get. She is deemed unfit to work at present and there is no-one else to look after her son,” said Mr Bloore.
Oldknow, who has a degree in psychology, began drinking excessively in 2001 when she visited pubs daily with a partner, probation officer Katie Shannon said.
She was diagnosed with depression after a relationship breakdown 15 years ago, and counselling from Addaction had helped her to reduce her drinking.
“She is remorseful and apologetic and she is trying to turn her life around,” said Ms Shannon.