A POWYS woman’s “very poor driving” has resulted in a road ban, after she started drinking again for the first time in 25 years following the death of her mother.

Lorna Hopkins, 57, got in her car, “to get milk for her neighbour”, after drinking and getting into an argument with her daughter, Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday, March 13.

Hopkins, of Doldowlod, near Llandrindod, admitted one charge of drink driving.

Prosecutor James Sprunks said police located Hopkins driving a Toyota Hilux along the A470 near Newbridge-on-Wye.

“Police were called to a domestic incident involving the defendant,” he said.


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“She’d left the property, having drunk alcohol. She was located travelling northbound, leaving Newbridge.

“Officers observed a very poor standard of driving; she was drifting into the opposite lane. When directed to pull over she clipped the grass verge of a layby."

Mr Sprunks said officers arrested Hopkins, who has no previous convictions. The reading of alcohol provided by Hopkins was 56 micrograms in breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs.

Huw Williams, representing Hopkins, said his client had not touched alcohol in 25 years, but had started drinking around 18 months ago to cope with the loss of her mother.

He said: “This lady is divorced and normally lives on her own at home, but at the time she was living with her daughter.

“The relationship is volatile; as a result she had been drinking that lunchtime. She then left to get milk for a neighbour and accepts she should not have been driving. Her daughter rang the police.”

County Times:

Mr Williams said Hopkins works three days a week in an interior design shop in Hay-on-Wye.

“She will lose that employment, which will cost her up to £600 per month,” he said.

“She has made enquiries with a bus company regarding public transport, but there is only one bus to Hay from Builth a week, on a Wednesday.

“She has not spoke to her employers yet but knows she’ll lose her job."

He added: “She knows what she did was wrong.”

Magistrates banned Hopkins from driving for 14 months, and fined her £120 with £85 costs and a £48 surcharge.