Hairdresser caught at almost four times the drink drive limit after celebrating birthday the night before

A birthday girl drove at almost four times the limit at 9am after a night out to celebrate.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:55 am

Sarah Briggs, 35, celebrated her big day with friends on the evening of Thursday, April 8 – and arrived at her boyfriend’s home in the early hours.

But after a row broke out between the couple Briggs then fled in her Mercedes.

She had driven half a mile when a nurse saw her swerving across Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

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Sarah Briggs, 35, had driven half a mile when a nurse saw her swerving across Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland.
Sarah Briggs, 35, had driven half a mile when a nurse saw her swerving across Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland.

Police were contacted and the hairdresser gave a breath test reading of 126 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Briggs, of Sorrell Close, Shotton Colliery, was banned from driving for 30 months and fined £500.

Prosecutor Marc Atkins told the court: “The witness was driving towards the Moorside roundabout.

“She saw a vehicle which was swerving onto the wrong side of the road, slightly, and back.

“The witness was a nurse and she thought there may be a medical emergency.

“The defendant’s vehicle parked, and the nurse went and spoke to the driver.

“The hazards were on, and the driver had exited the vehicle. She realised the driver was intoxicated.

“Another driver pulled over, took the defendant’s keys and contacted the police.

“In terms of her record, she doesn’t have one. She is of previous good character.”

Robin Ford, defending, told the magistrates that Briggs did not go out with the intention to drink and drive.

Mr Ford: “Ms Briggs was in a relationship for six to nine months with this gentleman at this point.

“The officer asked her in interview why she was driving, and she touched upon this, that she was getting away from her boyfriend.

“She got home around 2am, he was asleep. He woke her at 8.15am and said she had woken him up.

“With Dutch courage, she fought back. She got into her car and drove 750m.

“It wasn’t flailing disregard, it wasn’t ‘I’m going to drink, and drive home from the pub’. She has made an error of judgement.”

Briggs, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, must pay £85 court costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

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