Britain¿s booziest mother, 35, caught driving at five and a half times the limit

  • Tracey Chambers was caught driving to an off-licence to buy more alcohol – while her young child remained at home
  • She had already drunk three bottles of wine by the time the police stopped her
  • Magistrates let her walk free from court after hearing she turned to the bottle when she lost her job

Rob Preece

11:10 EST, 5 June 2012


11:32 EST, 5 June 2012

Drunk: Police caught Tracey Chambers driving erratically after she had downed three bottles of wine

Drunk: Police caught Tracey Chambers driving erratically after she had downed three bottles of wine

A jobless mother who drove while almost five and a half times the limit has walked free from court – despite giving the highest alcohol reading for a woman motorist ever recorded in Britain.

Tracey Chambers, 35, had already drunk three bottles of wine and was driving to buy more alcohol when police stopped her, a court heard.

She told officers she was driving to an off-licence and had left her young child at home.

She gave a breathalyser reading showing 188 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath – 5.4 times the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

It is the highest reading ever given by a woman in the UK, but Chambers was spared jail when she appeared at Northampton
Magistrates’ Court.

She was banned from driving for three years and given a 12-month probation supervision order with alcohol treatment.

Magistrates had heard how Chambers hit the bottle after
losing her job almost four years ago. 

The court heard that Chambers was arrested on April 13 on suspicion of being unfit to drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

Kim Dalton, prosecuting, said a
policeman was attending a road accident in St James Road,
Northampton, when he saw a Fiat Punto collide with a kerb near a pub.

He then saw the car’s headlights flash several times, and heard the driver attempt to restart the car.

Dalton said the officer went over to the car to speak to the driver and
found Chambers slumped over the steering wheel smelling of alcohol.

She said: ‘She was subsequently arrested. She protested, saying she couldn’t be arrested.

‘It was then substantiated the defendant had left a child on their own.’

Mrs Dalton said Chambers had been verbally abusive while in police custody.

The prosecutor said: ‘At interview, the defendant fully admitted she had been drink-driving.

‘She said she couldn’t remember exactly how much she had drunk, possibly two bottles of wine.’

She later told police that it might have been three bottles.

Chambers pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to provide a specimen.

Intoxicated: Chambers's reading of 188 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath is the highest ever recorded by a woman driver in Britain

Intoxicated: Chambers’s reading of 188 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath is the highest ever recorded by a woman driver in Britain

The court heard that Chambers’s breathalyser reading of 188 micrograms was given in a roadside test shortly after she was stopped by police.

Later the same night she gave another reading which showed she had 147 micrograms per 100ml.

She refused to provide another reading, which is a punishable offence.

Neil Clark, defending, said his client’s problems started when she was made redundant.

said she had not been able to find work since then, had been struggling
to make her mortgage payments, and had turned to alcohol when she
became depressed.

Clark said she had seen her doctor since the offence and had been admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in Kettering, Northamptonshire, for

She was no longer drinking alcohol and was working with a social worker, Mr Clark added.

Chambers’s first breathalyser reading beats the previous record for a woman driver, set by Claire Louise Garrett in July 2010.

Garrett, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, gave a sample containing 179 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath after police stopped her for driving on the wrong side of the road.

Garrett pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and received a three-year ban.

The highest alcohol level recorded by a male driver was 191 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, given by Polish worker Marcin Ziebac, from Coudon, Coventry, in January 2010.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

What do you have to do to get imprisoned in this country?
– Jono, London, 5/6/2012 18:53
now if she had thrown the receipt away on her way back to the car and would not pick it up or pay the fine , she would be sewing mail bags for a fortnight

‘struggling to make her mortgage payments’ but could afford booze, well theres a surprise.

What a fool, get a grip and get a job. Stop taking the weak option and hiding in the bottom of a bottle.
Oh and think yourself lucky you never killed anyone.

This woman has a serious problem, how on earth is she able to get into a car after drinking so much?

Is there something wrong with Magistrates nowadays? Not only could she have seriously injured, or killed either pedestrians or other drivers, she left a young child alone at home with all the dangers that poses! Seems one can get away with just about anything these days!!

It’s a miracle she hasn’t killed anyone yet – and sparing her jail is only going to increase that chance. Of course, ideally she should be in treatment for a very long time.

Just wondering what has happened to justice in this country. A drunk driver gets let off, a mother whose child swallows plant food is let off, yet a person who speaks her mind gets jailed. Truely bizzare.

What do you have to do to get imprisoned in this country?

She wo’nt be able to pay her mortgage with the amount of booze she drinks. The magistrate has now set a dangerous precedent for all other booze related cases.

what has a drink driver got to do to get jailed , knock down a judge or two. she was paraletic drunk driving to get more drink. if the judge cant see that warrant’s a custodial sentence they should stand down.

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