A £61,000 a year accounts director for an international company had used alcohol as a crutch.

She sipped vodka in her car while making phone calls from her vehicle over a two hour period.

A member of the public later alerted police because of the manner of her driving and she was found to be well over the drink-drive limit.

Sarah Bradbury, 44, a mother of three from St Mark’s Road in Saltney, admitted driving with 114 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath compared to the legal limit of 35 at Saltney High Street on April 18.

Banned for 28 months

At Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold on Tuesday (May 3), she was banned from driving for 28 months, fined £1,000 with £85 costs and an £85 surcharge. She was also placed on a 12 month community order with two 20 days rehabilitation.

District Judge Gwyn Jones told her that her driving had been unacceptable, so much so that a member of the public raised the alarm.

Bradbury had never been in trouble before, co-operated with the police, was in full time employment, had expressed remorse and entered a timely guilty plea.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said that a member of the public followed her car for some time and was so concerned about the manner of her driving that the police were alerted.

Reading of 114 microgrammes

She was arrested when she provided a positive breath test and at the police station blew the reading of 114 microgrammes.

Defendant solicitor Guy Dodd said his client had no previous convictions of any kind. She was a mother of three children, one aged 11 and twins aged seven, and she had an extremely well paid position.

The defendant had been doing the job for seven years but it was very stressful. She had been working at the time of the offence and was anxious and stressed out.

Mr Dodd said: “She is extremely remorseful and ashamed of her behaviour.”

Anti drink-driving views

She was an extremely careful driver normally and held strong anti drink-driving views.

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Bradbury had been under a great deal of stress at work at the time of the offence. But she did not seek to minimise her behaviour or blame her work.

That day she left her house to make phone calls from the car regarding work. There was a bottle of vodka in the car and she had no intention of drinking it.

But she started to sip it and had probably been parked up about two hours while making the calls.

Understood consequences

By the time she made the decision to drive it was too late and she understood the possible consequences of her behaviour.

She worked for an international company as an account director and organised conferences and events all over the world.

Mr Connah said that for the last 12 months she had been using alcohol as a crutch for the stress that she had been under due to work and other personal matters.

Her arrest had been a turning point in her life and she realised that she had to address her use of alcohol.

Feeling stressed

She was not a dependent drinker but agreed she had been using it as a crutch when feeling stressed.

Bradbury had already engaged with the drug and alcohol service and had a key worker.

She had also consulted her doctor regarding stress and had been given medication, said Mr Connah.