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Ipstones drink driver Frances Harrison caught drink driving twice in five months

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

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DRINK driver Frances Harrison has been banned from the roads after being caught twice in five months.

The 61-year-old, who has Huntington's Disease, was stopped by police in Cheadle after supermarket staff refused to serve her booze.

While on bail for that offence, Harrison was caught drink-driving near her Ipstones home on New Year's Eve.

She has now been disqualified from driving for 16 months and hit with fines and costs totalling £525.

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Prosecutor Giles Rowden yesterday told North Staffordshire magistrates Harrison went to Asda in Cheadle on August 14 and tried to buy alcohol but staff refused to serve her.

Mr Rowden said: "She got in her vehicle and was reported to police for driving. Police came and arrested her."

Harrison gave a sample of blood.

She accepted she was over the limit at the time but the exact amount of alcohol in her system could not be calculated.

While on bail for that matter, Harrison was stopped by police in High Street, Ipstones, on December 31.

She was breathalysed and gave a reading of 56 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, against the legal limit of 35.

Harrison, of Barley Road, Ipstones, pleaded guilty to two charges of driving with excess alcohol.

She also has a previous offence for failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis when in charge of a vehicle.

Hayley Keegan, mitigating, said Harrison accepts she has had an alcohol problem and is now attending Alcoholics Anonymous and receiving medication from her GP.

She has also been diagnosed as having Huntington's Disease.

Miss Keegan said: "It is a rare genetic disease which causes depression and mood swings. She has been self-medicating.

"On August 14 somebody was concerned and contacted the police.

"It was a blessing in disguise and it brought to the forefront of her mind that she does need some support."

Miss Keegan said Harrison now attends Huntington Disease Society meetings and is no longer drinking alcohol.

She added: "I have to concede the offences were committed in relatively quick succession. But because she was self-medicating she did not really appreciate or acknowledge the difficulties she was going through."

As well as the driving ban, magistrates fined Harrison £280 with £225 costs and a £20 surcharge.

Her driving ban will be reduced by four months if she completes a drink drivers' rehabilitation course by November 27.

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