A WOMAN who drank one and a half litres of lager before getting behind the wheel of her mother’s car said she was “probably a six out of ten” drunk when she drove.

Angelica Hilenburg, 28, was three-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit and was found with an open can of beer on the passenger seat when police stopped her.

The mother-of-one, of Wilson Street, in Darlington, was arrested and charged with two driving offences on August 30 last year, but “simply forgot” to attend a court date set for September.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that Polish national Hilenburg had been wanted by police ever since and was eventually picked up by officers after being at large for five months.

James Palmer, prosecuting, told the court that Hilenburg was spotted driving a Ford Focus that swerved into an opposite lane on Whessoe Road before officers followed her as she drove to Wilson Street.

Mr Palmer added: “The officer notices her speech was slurred and beside her was an open can of beer and she said she only had one beer.

“She gave a sample of breath and the actual level was 119 micogrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit of course being 30 microgrammes.”

Hilenburg pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance and failure to attend court via an interpreter speaking on her behalf in court.

A probation officer said Hilenburg quit a job in Durham following the arrest and had not driven a car since August when she had given a friend a lift home from work before drinking and driving back to her own home.

The probation officer added: “She states she ought not to have driven, but believed such a short distance would not cause anyone any harm.

“She said she was probably a six out of ten in terms of being drunk.”

District Judge Tim Capstick addressed Hilenburg and banned her from driving for two years and ordered her to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

He added: “You don’t need me to tell you that you could have caused someone serious injury or caused yourself injury.

“Your driving brought you to the attention of a police officer who followed the vehicle and when it stopped he spoke to you and you had an open can of beer in the vehicle with you while you were driving.

“You should understand that if your reading had been slightly higher, you’d have been at risk of an immediate custodial sentence today, so that’s how close you’ve come to going into custody."