A DRINK driver who was found to be twice the legal limit hit a kerb and crossed into oncoming traffic, forcing a driver to take evasive action.

Helen Harris, 55, was later captured on CCTV at a petrol station going into a shop to purchase a bottle of wine.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard how police received a call on December 13 last year from a member of the public, who reported a silver Ford Focus hitting a roadside kerb and crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

The informant followed the car to a petrol station, where they saw the driver get out and walk into the shop.

Police attended Harris’s address and conducted a roadside test, which recorded 89mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

Two further samples of breath were taken at the police station, the lowest of which recorded 79mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Harris, of Green Lane, Aldham, admitted a charge of drink driving.

Lucy Osborn, mitigating, said: “Miss Harris probably did appear unsteady on her feet as she does today.

“You will see she does have significant mobility problems.”

Ms Osborn said Harris’s husband had died five years ago and she had struggled ever since.

After moving to Holland to start afresh, she suffered a serious break to her leg and returned to the UK.

“She was forced out of work as a result of her injury,” said Ms Osborn.

“Following her injury she underwent hospital treatment, it was then found she had developed septicaemia.

“This caused her to go back into hospital and she wasn’t discharged until the start of lockdown.

“She is a single woman who lives alone, and confined on her own this caused her mental health to decline significantly.”

Ms Osborn said Harris then underwent a hip replacement and has found it difficult to get around since then.

With the further decline of her mental health, she is awaiting assessment on a possible bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Magistrates banned Harris from the roads for 17 months and ordered her to pay £259 in fines and court costs.

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