A COUNTY Durham mum was “at the end of her tether” when she crashed her car into a wall at a convenience store while almost three times over the legal alcohol limit.

Luti Potter-Harris had two children and the family’s dog in the car when she crashed her vehicle into the wall of the ramp outside the Co-op in Pelton on January 21.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard the 40-year-old, from Beamish, had failed a roadside breath test after officers were called to attend the incident.

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She later was found to have 100 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when she was tested at the police station – above the legal limit of 35.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, which happened at about 7.40pm. 

Mrs Potter-Harris, who has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty at her first court appearance on Monday, January 31, told magistrates she was sorry and had been having a difficult time.

Breaking into tears, she told the court: “I’ve had a really difficult time. My son is being assessed for autism and his behaviour is very challenging. It’s had a detrimental impact on my mental health.

“I know its not an excuse. I’ve tried to get help.

“I think I was at the end of my tether. It was a stupid thing to do but I have done it. I’m wholeheartedly devastated and very sorry for the impact its going to have on my family.

“I could have hurt innocents. It’s not something I’m proud of.”

Fining her £269, the chair of the magistrates’ bench John Robinson said: “I can sit here and go on at you and give you a lecture but I don’t think it’s what you need.

“I think you realise the seriousness of this. I think you realise you had two children in the car and the impact its had on you so I’m not going to lecture you.”

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Mrs Potter-Harris, who lives on the road leading to Urpeth South Farm, was also given a 24-month driving ban and will have the option of completing a drink driving rehabilitation course.

She will also have to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £34, giving her a total bill of £388.

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