Woman banned from driving after she was caught drunk at wheel after 2am pub lock-in


Nail technician Olivia Stokes, who owns her own business, tested almost three times the alcohol limit last month when she was attempting to drive home from the pub

Olivia Stokes pictured outside court
Olivia Stokes pictured outside court

A young businesswoman has been banned from driving for more than two years, after she was caught drunk at the wheel of her car following a 2am pub lock-in.

Nail technician Olivia Stokes, who owns her own business, tested almost three times the alcohol limit last month after she decided to drive when she unexpectedly found herself stranded eight miles away from home with nowhere to stay.

The 23-year old from Northwich, Cheshire, said she had arranged to have a sleepover at a friend’s home in Knutsford but her mobile phone charge “died” while she was retrieving work equipment from her Vauxhall Corsa.

Stokes had barely driven a mile before she was spotted driving erratically by a police patrol.

She claimed she was unable to contact her friend or remember where the friend lived, so had decided to drive home.

Tests showed she had 99 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. Two bottles of wine were found on the passenger seat of her vehicle.


Stokes has now been banned from driving for more than two years
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Image:

Olivia Stokes/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

At Stockport magistrates court Stokes admitted driving with excess alcohol and was disqualified from driving for 26 months. She was also made subject to a 7pm-to-7am curfew.

Earlier prosecutor Mr Robin Lynch told the hearing: “Just after 2am on January 7, police officers were on mobile patrol when they saw a Vauxhall Corsa driving on Northwich Road, away from Knutsford.

“The vehicle accelerated very quickly, so officers stopped the vehicle to speak to the driver. There were two bottles of wine in the front passenger seat and officers could smell intoxicant on her breath.

“She failed to give a breath test and was taken to the police station where her lowest reading was 99 mg. She is a lady of previous good character.”

In mitigation defense lawyer Victoria Thompson said: “This is a lady who is a nail technician. She owns her own business and because of Covid, she has not been able to work for a long period of time. Hers was one of the last professions to return to work which has had a significant financial impact for her.

“She was in a very difficult time in her life with her lack of work. She was struggling and was taking fluoxetine for depression and anxiety.

Stokes was said to have been going through a ‘very difficult time’
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Image:

Olivia Stokes/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

There were two bottles of wine in the front passenger seat of Stokes’ car
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Image:

Olivia Stokes/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

“She had been in Knutsford to see a client. She had then been invited out for a drink with friends she had not seen a long time because of the pandemic.

“It was an opportunity to stay and catch up with her friends. She contacted her mum to arrange for her to pick her up but as the evening progressed, they went to a bar and had a lock in after opening hours.

“She recognizes she should not have been drinking and it caused her to panic about the situation. She had left equipment in the car and she thought it was not the best place to leave it.

“She was meant to stay at a friend’s address overnight but as she began to walk to her car, her phone died and she was not able to make contact with her friend at the bar or with her mother.

“She then returned to the bar they had been in but she did not know where this particular friend lived and everything had closed at that point. She began to panic about how she was going to get home and she made the foolish decision to drive. She deeply regrets her actions.”

At Stockport magistrates court Stokes admitted driving with excess alcohol
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Image:

Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd.

Miss Thompson added: “This is a lady of previous good character. When she was stopped by the police she panicked. She was trying to give a sample but was not producing enough breath to get a reading.

“The road she was driving on was a 30-mph limit which then leads to a national speed limit. She had accelerated too early, and that was what led the officers to stop her. There was no other evidence of bad driving.

“However it was a blessing that she was stopped, because if she had continued to drive, who knows what might have happened. She is horrified and deeply ashamed.

“She is due to start at a new employment company in Jersey from March 1. She has accommodation sorted and is going to pay £1000 p/m including bills. This is going to be a fresh start for her. This will see her begin employment and give her some security.

“She has family and friends in Jersey, and it is an opportunity for a clean break. This incident will not prevent her from moving to Jersey although her employment may be impacted depending on what the sentence is. There are no ongoing issues with alcohol and have support from her family.

“The car was on finance and her father is going to take over the finance of it. She would be suitable for a drink driving course. She has lost a lot of business because of the pandemic. There were two bottles of wine on the passenger seat but it is not suggested these were empty bottles.”

Stokes who was also ordered to pay £180 in surcharges was offered a place on a drink driver’s rehabilitation course.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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