Teacher caught drink driving nearly twice limit as she jumped two red lights

A newly qualified teacher who was caught drink-driving after two glasses of wine has been banned from the roads.

Phoebe Atkinson, 22, who said she had a "few moments of madness" after a night out with pals in a restaurant, now fears her career is ruined.

She thought she was safe to drive 10 miles home at 4am after consuming just two glasses of wine with her meal five hours earlier.

But tests showed she was nearly twice the alcohol limit after she was stopped when she overtook a police car at speed in Bury and jumped two red traffic lights in her Audi A1 car.

The netball team captain later claimed she was "distracted" at the wheel and did not notice the red lights.

Atkinson, who lives with her parents in Helmshore, Rossendale, Lancs, admitted drink driving and was banned from driving for 12 months.

She was fined £346, ordered to pay £119 costs and was offered a place on a drink driver rehabilitation course.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard it was her first ever offence.

She fears she will now lose her new £19,000-a-year teaching job over fears the conviction will bring the school into "disrepute."

The incident took place on July 9 when all schools were still shut due to coronavirus restrictions.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said: "It was just shy of 4am when a police patrolman travelling around the roads of Bury was overtaken at speed by an Audi vehicle.

“He followed that vehicle and sees it go through two sets of red traffic signals.

"As a result of that poor piece of driving he put on his emergency equipment and pulled the Audi vehicle over.”

Tests showed she had 57 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35mg.

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David Hewitt, mitigating, said she had planned to get a taxi home but she “felt alright to drive”.

He told the court: “She says the meal in question was from about 8.30pm to 9pm until about 11pm and it was the first proper meal she had had that particular day which may have had an effect upon the situation.

"She had two glasses of wine with her food and is quite adamant no more than that during the course of the meal.”

He added: “She began work a short time ago as a teacher and has been told that this conviction may have an effect upon her employment and maybe deemed to have brought the school into disrepute.

“This job is something she's clearly worked for for some time to achieve and obtained employment.

“Because of these few moments of madness she will not only lose her driving licence but may also lose her employment but I hope that doesn't come to fruition.”

JP Nicholas Cummins told her: "It is such a shame that you have previously had a completely clean driving history and it starts with something like this."

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