Jail for woman motorist six times over limit

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The Independent Online
A woman who drank a bottle of vodka and then drove on a motorway while she was more than six times over the legal limit was jailed for four months yesterday.

Rosemary Foster, 23, whose breath-test reading of 225mg of alcohol was the highest recorded by a woman, will also serve three concurrent sentences of two months each for assaulting three police officers and was banned from driving for five years by magistrates at Macclesfield in Cheshire.

Foster, of Weston Coyney, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was found by police wandering near her car on the M56 near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, after running out of petrol on 12 December last year.

Keith Jones, for the prosecution, said that on her way to the police station after providing a positive breath test, she spat vomit at two police constables and later threw scalding coffee at a woman constable.

Foster had earlier pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and to three charges of assaulting police officers. The chairman of the magistrates, Patricia Ferguson, told her: "Your behaviour on arrest did nothing to improve your situation."

PC Brendan McCarth and PC Nicholas Woodcock had "risked their lives" to rescue Foster after finding her running on to the carriageway "waving her arms about", she said. "They were going about their public duty and they were assaulted."

Mr Jones told the court that the officers found Foster and a friend near her Ford Fiesta parked on the hard shoulder. "Her condition appeared to be highly distressed and she smelled very strongly of alcohol." Asked if she had been drinking, Foster replied: "Yes, but don't arrest me. Take me to my mum's in Stoke."

Marie Cape, secretary of the Campaign Against Drink-Driving, welcomed the sentence and said more custodial sentences were necessary until drivers got the message. "This is sending out the right messages that we just won't tolerate this type of behaviour," she said.