A WOMAN caught behind the wheel whilst more than three times the legal drug-drive limit has been banned from driving for three years.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that Alexandra Smith was pulled over by police on the evening of April 18 when she failed a drug test and was subsequently arrested.

Rachel Stapleton, prosecuting, said: “Police spotted the defendant driving a Volkswagen Golf at around 11.50pm on Wellfield Road, in Wingate.

“She was asked to stop and she was spoken to by police. There were no issues in relation to the manner of her driving.

“Following a drug wipe she was transported to custody and searched where she was found with empty drug packets.”

Smith pleaded guilty to two charges of driving a motor vehicle whilst over the legal drug-drive limit. A blood test revealed 32mg of cocaine in her system, the legal limit is 10mg.

She also had 200mg of Benzoylecgonine (the cocaine breakdown product) in her system, the legal limit is 50mg.

Amrit Jandu, mitigating, said his client had been struggling with her mental health at the time of the incident.

He added: “Her life was in somewhat of a flux. She was recovering from a very damaging relationship which she had to get support for. She was mixing with the wrong people and not coping well and has found herself before you.”

District Judge Helen Cousins banned Smith, of Chillerton Way, Wingate, from driving for three years.

She also handed the 28-year-old a £120 fine and ordered her to pay £85 costs and £32 victim surcharge.