A BOOZED-up mum drove her son to the beach while she was FOUR TIMES the drink-drive limit before being arrested at a McDonald’s drive-through.
Sadie Smith, 47, was caught on dashcam footage driving so erratically she ploughed over a roundabout and into a grass verge after driving from Merseyside to north Wales.
Wrexham Magistrates' Court heard it was "nothing short of sheer luck" that she didn't cause a serious accident.
Smith cried as her family sat beside her while the court was shown footage of her almost colliding with a road sign with her son in the car.
Helen Tench, prosecuting, said Smith had been drinking the night before and had had some alcohol in the hours before she set off to find a beach.
A concerned member of the public called police at around midday on March 19 when they saw a Saab Index being driven "erratically" on the A548 in Flintshire.
Smith was arrested after being found at McDonald's on the Flint Retail Park "stumbling around the drive-through" and "slurring her words".
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When she was caught, she gave a breath reading of 139 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
The court was shown some dashcam footage of the mum-of-one swerving across roads before she ended up on the grass verge of a roundabout.
Smith, of Centurion Drive in Meols, Wirral, Merseyside, then drove off along the A548 in the direction of Flint.
Stephen Edwards, mitigating, said this had been "a real wake-up call" for his client.
She had been using alcohol "as a crutch" to deal with issues that have been ongoing in her life now "for a number of years", he added.
'HITTING THE BOTTLE'
Smith, he told the court, had felt the pressures of being a single mum during the Covid-19 pandemic, balancing the sudden need to work from home as well as educate her young son.
This, combined with other factors, led to her "hitting the bottle".
Tracey Flavell, from the probation service, said that Smith "clearly" wasn't thinking about the consequences of her actions that day.
She accepted that "in trying to do something nice for her son", she was in fact "putting lives at risk".
She said that Smith has "found it difficult to ask for help" but is now seeking support within her community.
The court also heard how the criminal charge led to Smith losing her 23-year career.
Justice Jacqui Jones branded Smith's actions "dangerous" and handed her a 12-month community order.
She was ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for three years.
Justice Jones said: "It was nothing short of sheer luck that you didn't cause a fatality when driving over 30 miles in a very dangerous and erratic manner with your seven-year-old son in the car.
"That footage played today no doubt shocked you, your family and us – the magistrates.
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"You could have been going to prison today but you have made significant attempts off your own back to address your issues with alcohol.
"We think you'll make those changes last and not be back before these courts again."
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