Family night-out turned into 'nightmare'

A family night out ended in car crash carnage when a drunken holiday maker got behind the wheel of her partner’s car, a court has heard.

April Louise Wale, aged 27, of 15 Cornwall Ave, Cheltenham, appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates on Wednesday.

She pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, and without a valid driver’s licence at Quay West holiday park on April 10.

A charge of aggravated vehicle taking was withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The court heard that Wale was staying in a caravan with her partner and his children, who all left the park’s club at 12.30am.

After the children complained that their feet were hurting and they didn’t want to walk back to the caravan, Wale went to get her partner’s Renault Megane.

She lost control of the vehicle and crashed it into metal railings. The car was written off following the collision.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said: “It’s a rather unusual circumstance for this young woman to find herself in; she is of completely clean character. It seems bizarre that she is here today.

“For some inexplicable reason she went back to get the car.”

Wale told police the incident was a ‘bit of a blur’, adding that she had drunk three pints, three to four shots and a glass of champagne before leaving the club.

She was found to have 81mg in 100 ml of breath, the legal limit is 35mg.

She said: “I’m appalled. I was drunk, and even if I wasn’t, I should not have driven because I don’t know how to handle a car. It was so stupid.”

Katy Hanson, defending, said attending court had been a very ‘salutary lesson’ for her client, who was embarrassed about her actions.

Miss Hanson added that the children had not been in the car with the defendant, who was ‘not a big drinker’, but had decided to go out with her partner for a few drinks while on holiday.

The presiding magistrate said: “This night out has turned into a nightmare. Once the horror of coming to court is over, you will be able to get on with your life, but it will sting you for a couple of years.”

Wale was disqualified from driving for 20 months and fined £200 each for the offences of driving with excess alcohol and without insurance. No separate penalty was imposed for driving without a valid licence.

She was also ordered to pay £100 towards the damaged railings, £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

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