Concerned mum's drink-drive shame after taking daughter to A&E

A concerned mum who drove her daughter to an accident and emergency ward after she suffered a reaction to a possible spider bite was caught over the drink-drive limit.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 9:32 am
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2016, 11:54 am
Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Samantha Hellings, 47, of Baslow Road, Ashford-in-the-Water, was stopped by police for driving her Land Rover Discovery without her lights on and she failed a drink-drive test.

Prosecuting solicitor Angela Hadfield told a hearing on Tuesday, June 7, at Chesterfield magistrates’ court: “Police saw the Land Rover Discovery on the A6 going through Bakewell town centre without its headlights or tail lights illuminated and the vehicle was stopped on Buxton Road, in the town. Her son and daughter were also in the vehicle.

“She provided a positive breath sample for drink-driving and was taken into custody where she provided a sample reading of 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.”

The legal limit for drink-driving is 35microgrammes in 100 millilitres of blood.

Hellings pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit after the incident on June 8.

Defence solicitor Simon Chaplin said Hellings had drunk some wine with an evening meal and had no intention to drive until her daughter developed a reaction to a possible spider bite with tracks on her arm.

Mr Chaplin added: “Mrs Hellings was extremely worried because she had had a friend in a similar situation who suffered catastrophic consequences so she drove her daughter to the accident and emergency ward.

“She accepts she didn’t give a thought to possibly being over the limit and she didn’t feel over the limit and her concern was to get treatment for her daughter but she was stopped by police on the way back.”

Mr Chaplin added that the Land Rover’s lights go on and off automatically and in this case the automatic system had been switched off so she was driving without lights but otherwise she had not been driving badly.

He added: “She’s mortified to find herself before the courts. An inevitable driving ban will cause huge difficulties. Her daughter represents Great Britain in equestrian events and mum drives her to events and all over Europe and her son has learning difficulties.

“She made the wrong decision but many other mothers may have made the same decision.”

District Judge Andrew Davison fined Hellings £200 and ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Helllings was also disqualified from driving for 12 months but she can reduce the ban to nine months if she completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course.