A BARLBOROUGH mum caught drink-driving twice in a month has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
Cheril Oldknow, who was working as a child care deputy manager with pre-school children, also received a lengthy driving ban at Chesterfield magistrates court.
On both occasions after she had driven her Vauxhall Astra she was reported to police by concerned members of her family and arrested at home.
The first offence was committed on 21st July when the 44-year-old gave a reading of 164mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood - more than double the 80mgs limit.
Then, on 22nd August, her reading was 115mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath - more than three times the 35mcgs limit.
Phil Bloore, defending, said the divorcee had four children - a five-year-old son and three adult children - and there had been ‘a complete breakdown’ with relatives that had left her virtually ostracised.
“She has numerous problems but she has been addressing them and she hasn’t been drinking regularly since the offences,” he said.
“She might need the threat of custody but she also needs as much help as she can get in the community. She is deemed unfit to work at present.”
Oldknow, who has a degree in psychology, began drinking excessively in 2001 when she visited pubs on a daily basis with a partner, probation officer Katie Shannon told the court.
She was diagnosed with depression following a relationship breakdown 15 years ago and counselling from Addaction had helped her to reduce her drinking.
“She is remorseful and apologetic and she is trying to turn her life around,” said Ms Shannon.
Members of the bench voiced their concern that a child was in the car on the first occasion, saying she had taken a big risk and it was fortunate that no collision occurred.
Oldknow, of New Road, Barlborough, admitted both drink-driving offences and received an eight-week jail term, suspended it for one year.
She was also given a one-year probation supervision order, with £170 costs, and a three-year driving ban, to be cut by a quarter if she passes a drink-driving rehabilitation course.