Drunken staff member caught with car engine running at Hereford hospital

A DRUNKEN woman was caught with her car’s engine running after she was seen staggering towards Hereford hospital.

Dawn Preston admitted drink-driving when she appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Police were on foot patrol in Hereford’s Union Walk when they came across a very drunk man and a woman, who was lying on the ground, on October 24.

The pair told officers they were getting a lift home with Preston, who was seen staggering along the road.

Police decided to follow her as she made her way towards the hospital, and as they entered the hospital’s car park, they saw a grey car parked with its engine running and a reversing light on.

They approached the car and asked Preston, who was behind the wheel to turn off the engine, and who admitted having had ‘quite a bit’ to drink.

She was arrested after failing a roadside breath test and taken into custody, where an evidential test revealed she had 78 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the legal limit of 35.

Chris Read, for Preston, said the 45-year-old had been out with friends and they had planned for Preston to drive them home.

“As the evening progressed it was clear this was not going to happen,” Mr Read said.

“She could not get her friend to stand up so she went back to her car at the hospital, which is where she worked, and started it for warmth while she put some more suitable clothes on. She also planned to get some money from the glove box to get a taxi, but police came and saw her engine as running and that the reverse light had flickered on.

“She did not intend to drive, but that constitutes driving.”

Preston, of West View, Almeley, was disqualified from driving for 18 months and fined £120. She must also pay costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge.

Hereford Times