Kelly Whitehouse, 30, was three times over the drink-driving limit when she crashed the car with her toddler in it
A full-time mother who caused a traffic jam when she drove her two-year-old son home while over three times the alcohol limit has been released from court.
Housewife Kelly Whitehouse, 30, lost control of her Vauxhall Astra at the end of the evening rush hour and crashed into a stationary car just yards from her property after drinking up to six cans of Budweiser lager.
Police were notified of the incident after another motorist saw Whitehouse pluck the child from her damaged vehicle before speeding to her home in a nearby cul-de-sac.
Witnesses said she had ‘swung’ across the road in Bewsey and Whitecross, Warrington, Cheshire, in the moments before the accident.
Tests showed that Whitehouse, who only passed her driving test last year, had 114 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mg. No one was injured in the crash.
At Warrington magistrates’ court, the mother-of-two Whitehouse who admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol was jailed but was released on 12 months community service after claiming she received help for alcohol problems.
Prosecutor Lionel Cope told the court that a motorist reported the incident to police at 7pm on October 31 after witnessing Whitehouse crash her Astra on Lovely Lane, Warrington.
Mr Cope said the public had seen the car swaying on the road before the accident. After the collision, she was seen getting a child out of the car and entering a nearby home. She was later arrested.
Mrs. Whitehouse was spared jail because she came into contact with Alcoholics Anonymous
A probation report prepared on Whitehouse was read to the court and said, “She was in no way attempting to downplay or justify her offense.”
“She was drinking between two and six cans of Budweiser lager just about every night leading up to the violation.
‘She realized that it had become a habit and did seek help from her doctor before committing the offence.
“She hasn’t had a drink since the incident, and he’s been in contact with Pathways and Alcoholics Anonymous for complete abstinence.
“She has good victim awareness, and she tells me she’s been mentally punishing herself ever since.
“She knows she was very lucky that she and her son and other people were not injured in the accident.”
The probation report added that Whitehouse is a full-time caregiver for her mother and two young children.
Her lawyer Victoria Frampton said in mitigation: ‘She has shown nothing but genuine remorse and remorse for her actions, and is simply thankful that no one was hurt as a result of the collision.
“There is no more severe punishment than that which she inflicted upon herself.
“She accepts to drink more than usual prior to the incident. Two weeks prior to the incident, she did contact her GP with a request for help.
Her lawyer said ‘she has shown nothing but genuine remorse and remorse for her actions’
“It was the day after the incident that she contacted Pathways and said she needed immediate help. She also dabbles in Alcoholics Anonymous and has also begun counseling.
“It is clear that Ms. Whitehouse has been proactive and has already taken steps to address her drinking. She has not consumed alcohol since the incident and plans to continue with any services she has contacted.
“This behavior was totally uncharacteristic of Mrs. Whiteside. Her family is here to support her. She is a 30-year-old woman with two young children. She is a primary concern for them and also a caretaker for her mother, as you have heard.”
Sentencing District Judge Jack McGarva ordered Whitehouse to complete 10 days of rehabilitation activities, a six-month alcohol treatment program, and 60 hours of unpaid work. She was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £234 in costs and a victim’s surcharge.
The judge told her, “This is really quite a shocking case. You have consumed a lot of alcohol during the day and it seems that you have become so confused with alcohol that you have been unable to recognize that there was no prospect of safe driving.
“You got in the car with your little one, a two-year-old, and you drove to a shabby and poor standard. And that with a child in the car. It is a very serious case and the reading level is almost three and a half times the drink-driving limit.
That limit is there for a reason. Alcohol impairs your ability to make correct judgments, it makes you act much slower and make wrong decisions. You were a danger to yourself and your child and other people on the road.
“Just about every possible aggravating factor was present in this case.
“It really should be custody. But I’m going to step out of custody because you’ve never been in trouble before and you’ve spoken openly with probation. That’s very positive. I have also taken measures to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.’