An alcoholic midwife in the UK, who was over the drink-drive limit, was caught with a bottle of gin, tonic water and a glass containing slices of lemon in her car, a court heard.

Janice Hawke, aged 57, gave an ‘extremely high’ roadside reading for the amount of alcohol in breath, Plymouth magistrates were told.

Hawke, of Woodstock Gardens in St Budeaux, admitted failing to provide a sample back at the police station on April 2. Magistrates adjourned sentence for her to be assessed for an order to treat her habit but she was banned from driving.

Her solicitor said Hawke had been able to combine her work at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust with binge drinking, but she now accepted she had a problem.

Gareth Warden, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said a man called police when a woman who appeared drunk asked him to start her broken-down car in Wolseley Road at about 2.45pm on Monday.

He said officers arrived and smelt alcohol in the Honda and found a bottle of gin, a bottle of tonic water and a glass containing slices of lemon.

The court heard she had a similar conviction in 2005. Bill LaHive, for Hawke, said she herself described the incident as ‘crazy’.

He said she was very upset at the death of an uncle to whom she was close in what he said were ‘tragic circumstances’. Mr LaHive said she started drinking in the morning while sorting out his belongings.

He added: “She ran out of alcohol and went out to the supermarket to purchase some more.”

Mr LaHive said she had sought help for her drink problem after her previous conviction in 2005. He added treatment was stopped for good progress but the bereavement brought ‘matters to a head’.

Probation officer Charlie Casey said Hawke would drink for a couple of days at a time but not while she was at work.

Magistrates adjourned sentence for an expert to assess whether she is suitable for an Alcohol Treatment Requirement, which would test and treat her for her habit.

She was released on unconditional bail until April 30 and was given an interim driving ban.

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