Mum and daughter grab keys from drink-driver who was almost four times the limit


Mum Karen Dovey was caught behind the wheel – almost four times the drink-drive limit.

Police were called when the 59-year-old’s car was stopped after two witnesses became concerned about the way she was driving.

A mother and daughter were travelling in the vehicle behind Dovey’s when they indicated for her to pull over.

Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard they then took her car keys away.

Prosecutor Zahra Hussain said: “At 3pm on March 11, this defendant was being followed for some time by a mother and daughter in a car. They had concerns about the manner of the defendant’s driving and recorded a video clip.

“They then indicated for the defendant to stop her vehicle, which she did. They approached the car and one of the witnesses took the key out of the ignition.

“The defendant said she had just come from the hospital. She denied having been drinking.”

Police were called and arrived at the scene in Draycott Old Road, Forsbrook. The court heard Dovey did not give an adequate breath sample at the roadside and was taken to custody, where she provided an alcohol reading of 126 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

Dovey, of Stallington Mews, Stallington, pleaded guilty to drink-driving. She had no previous convictions.


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Lesley Barnett, mitigating, said the defendant had been drinking the day before the offence, and into the early hours of that day.

Ms Barnett said: “She was extremely anxious at the time. She was under investigation for skin cancer and she also takes anti-depressants.

“She had been unable to sleep so she started to consume wine and drank into the early hours of the morning. She went to bed and woke late, she didn’t eat breakfast and had not eaten dinner the night before.

“She was anxious about collecting her anti-depressant medication and made the foolish decision to drive to the chemist. She was leaving the pharmacy when she was followed by the two witnesses.”



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The mother-of-one is now retired following a successful career in the pottery industry. She has moved to a smaller property with her husband after their son left home.

Ms Barnett added: “She is a shadow of the lady she used to be. She recently had an accident which led to a bleed on the brain. Added to that was the cancer scare she had which, thankfully, proved negative.”

Magistrates said a prison sentence could have been a possibility.

Chairperson of the bench, Vivien Patterson, said: “This is very serious – it was a very, very high reading. We have considered custody. However, this is your first offence and it’s very sad to see someone your age, with previous good character, in court. You have shown remorse and you accept what you have done. We have decided to sentence you to a community order.”

Dovey was handed a 12-month community order with a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement. She will also receive assistance with her mental health. She was disqualified from driving for 30 months and must also pay a £560 fine, plus £230 in court costs and charges.

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