Woman crashed car while four-and-a-half times the drink drive limit

East Riding Magistrates' Court
East Riding Magistrates' Court

Estate agent Tina Knowles is facing jail after crashing her BMW car into a pipe at a petrol station forecourt while four-and-a-half times the drink drive limit.

Her silver BMW Z4 careered past the kiosk window and only stopped when it hit a large metal pipe used to release vapour from the underground fuel tanks.

The petrol pumps at Eling Petrol Station on Middle Street South, Driffield, were turned off and the site closed for public safety.

The 43-year-old – who lives only a few hundred yards from the garage – was then rushed to hospital by police who feared she had alcohol poisoning.

She sat in the two-seater sports car slurring into a mobile phone, ignoring the girl in the forecourt kiosk, a court heard.

Prosecutor David Ward told Beverley Magistrates that forecourt attendant Rebecca Roberts was looking out the window of the kiosk when she saw Knowles’ silver BMW “shoot across”.

He continued: “It drove across the forecourt without stopping and collided with a substantial metal vapour release pump opposite the kiosk. The female driver appeared to be on a mobile phone at the time.

“Miss Roberts was initially ignored by the female driver.

“She noticed she had blonde hair and was in her fifties. She opened the door and then shut it again.

“Miss Roberts could smell alcohol on her breath. She was very drunk. She could not talk properly and was slurring her words.

“Miss Roberts said to turn off the petrol pumps immediately for public safety.”

The court heard Knowles was led into the garage shop to await the arrival of police and staff took her car keys off her. She offered no resistance.

A police officer was called and Knowles “became emotional,” said Mr Ward, adding: “She started sobbing. She said “It’s my car. I’m an alcoholic.”

A breath test revealed 152 microgrammes of alcohol in breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr Ward said: “Police were so concerned about the amount of alcohol she had drunk that they sent her to hospital to check for alcohol poisoning.

“They had never seen anyone drink that much before and get in a car and drive.”

Police then closed the garage for public safety.

Knowles, of Skerne Road, Driffield, admitted drink driving on Friday 13 February.

She also admitted breach of bail.

She had been due to attend court Wednesday 4 March and a warrant for her arrest had been issued.

The court heard there had been a mix-up over the court date while Knowles was in a rehab clinic in Birmingham.

When she was told she had missed her court date she handed herself into police.

She was placed in the cells and appeared before the magistrates last week.

The court heard she had escaped a ban in August 2014 for failing to provide a specimen of breath. She ended up with ten penalty points on her licence instead.

The hearing was adjourned until April 1 for an “all options” report by the probation service – meaning she could go to jail. She was bailed and made the subject of an interim driving ban.

Defending solicitor Rachel Davies said: “There’s clearly a lot of issues in her life. She freely accepts she’s an alcoholic and needs help and support.”