Petrol station smash could have caused serious harm to public

East Riding Magistrates' Court in Beverley.
East Riding Magistrates' Court in Beverley.

Am alcoholic mum from Driffield has​ escaped prison but​ been banned from driving for four years after she crashed her car in a petrol station forecourt while more than four times the legal drink-drive limit.

East Riding Magsitrates’ Court heard how staff had to shut down the pumps at Eling petrol station, on Middle Street South, Driffield.​ ​as a matter of public safety after Tina Knowles, 43, crashed her car into some fuel vapour release pipes​.​

Prosecuting, Colette Dixon said Knowles’ BMW car came to an immediate halt in the crash - at just before 9pm on February 13 this year - and that staff came out to assist.

There was a strong smell of alcohol ​and Knowles was slurring her words, the court heard, so staff took her car keys called police.

Mrs Dixon added: “The defendant was emotional and told police at the scene that she was an alcoholic and that she shouldn’t have been driving.”

A roadside breath test revealed Knowles had 152mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 35mg.

“Due to the very high level of alcohol present she was taken to Scarborough hospital for checks on her health and was seen by a doctor who deemed her fit to be detained,” said Mrs Dixon.

Knowles also pleaded guilty to failing to attend an earlier court hearing on March 4 this year,.

But the court heard she had booked into a drink rehabilitation centre in Birmingham and believed that the centre had made arrangements for the hearing to be adjourned.

Defending, Rachael Davis said: “She has had problems with alcohol on and off for the last 10 years. She was in a previous relationship which was very violent and used alcohol as a means of coping.”

Ms Davis urged magistartes not to send to Knowles to prison as it would not help her alcohol issues.

She said the defendant had a good support network among her daughters, father​,​ and partner who she lives with and that she was seeking help from Alcoholics Anonymous as well as a counsellor at Lloyds Pharmacy in Driffield.

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench, Mrs Linda Hall noted that the accident could have caused serious harm to the public.

As well as the driving ban, Knowles was handed a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. ​She ​​must also undergo treatment for her alcohol problem, including ten rehabilitation activity days, and supervision with an offender manager.