Fri, 13 Apr 2018
A YOUNG woman persuaded her heartbroken friend not to drive home in her pyjamas... then got arrested herself for drink-driving.
Earlier, the pair had been enjoying a girls’ night in, drinking wine and drowning the jilted friend’s sorrows.
But then the friend received a text from her ex-boyfriend about his new partner – and chaos ensued.
In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 5, was Charlotte Arnsby-Wilson, a 23-year-old trainee veterinary nurse from London Road, Thatcham, whose Good Samaritan impulse ended in disaster.
Helen Waite, prosecuting, said police on mobile patrol spotted a Fiat 500 driving without lights at 11pm on Pipers Way, Thatcham.
The court heard the patrol car flashed its lights to alert the driver, but when the vehicle continued on without headlights and even veered across the central white line, they caused it to stop.
Tests subsequently showed 83mcg of alcohol in Ms Arnsby-Wilson’s breath – well over twice the legal limit of 35mcg.
Ms Arnsby-Wilson admitted driving after drinking more than the legal limit on March 21.
Mike Davis, defending, conceded that the alcohol reading was high, but went on to outline the unusual mitigating circumstances.
Indeed, he said, he had discussed with his client whether she might have had a ‘special reasons’ justification to avoid the otherwise mandatory driving ban, but that she had opted to accept full responsibility for her actions that night.
Mr Davis explained that Ms Arnsby-Wilson had been at home, comforting her friend who had split with her partner.
The pair had been drinking wine and were in their pyjamas as the friend prepared to stay overnight.
But then, the court heard, the friend received a text from her lost love in which they spoke of their new partner.
Hysterical, the friend jumped up and ran to her car – the Fiat 500 – insisting she had to leave immediately, said Mr Davis.
He added: “The defendant was trying to reason with her, saying it would be very unsafe for her to drive given the alcohol she’d consumed and her emotional state.”
In desperation, the court heard, Ms Arnsby-Wilson said she would drive her friend’s car instead and take her home.
They had gone barely 100 yards when the police car spotted them driving in the dark without lights.
Mr Davis handed in character references from Ms Arnsby-Wilson’s veterinary surgery employers and urged the court to keep any driving ban to a minimum under the circumstances.
Magistrates said they had taken Mr Davis’ mitigation into account in their sentencing.
Ms Arnsby-Wilson was fined £230 and ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £30.
In addition, she was banned from driving for 19 months.