Drunk-driver with child on board blew five times over limit after smash at Northampton roundabout

Magistrates let 35-year-old escape jail... but order no booze for 120 days

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:53 pm

A driver who had a young child in her car when she crashed at a busy Northampton roundabout was nearly FIVE TIMES over the limit.

Court documents showed Jennifer Pitchford, aged 35, was carrying a child under seven as a passenger when she smashed her Ford Fiesta into barriers next to a roundabout at the junction of Towcester Road and Lancaster Way at around 3.30pm on April 26 this year.

Northampton magistrates this week spared her from going to jail — but ordered Pitchford to stop drinking for 120 days as part of a 12-month supervision order.

Pitchford, of Penrhyn Road, Northampton, later blew 159 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath during an evidential test. The legal limit is 35.

Police officers tweeting details of the incident at the time were met with comments including: “How was the driver able to stand up let alone drive a car?” and one which said: “It's a wonder the driver was even conscious!”

Northampton magistrates considered a custodial sentence at a hearing on Wednesday (June 30) because of the nature and seriousness of the offence.

But they decided there was an opportunity for rehabilitation through a supervision period including a four-month monitored alcohol abstinence order.

Pritchard was more than four times over the limit when her Ford Fiesta hit barriers in Towcester Road in April

Pitchford was given a 14-week prison sentence suspended for a year and another two weeks concurrent for being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven.

She was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £213 in prosecution costs and a surcharge to fund victim services.

In 2018, an aircraft engineer gave the highest drink-drive reading solicitors "had ever seen" following a smash near Northampton.

Glyn Salisbury, from Wellingborough, drove off after being spotted asleep in his Honda Civic, swerved across the road, mounted a verge, hit a kerb and nearly hit an oncoming vehicle before coming to a stop when a tyre burst.

He gave a reading of 191mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath roadside and 205mg at the police station.

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