The 63-year-old from Filleigh was banned from driving for 12 months after admitting drink driving.

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A PENSIONER who drank several whiskies to ‘warm up’ before driving to Ilfracombe for choir practice has been banned from driving for a year.

Margaret Hyland, 63 of Mays Leary Cottages in Filleigh, pleaded guilty to drink driving after she was found to have 136mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine. The legal limit is 107mg.

The court heard the retired teacher had been volunteering at a stables and drank ‘a couple of whiskies’ when she returned home as she was feeling cold.

She then drove to the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe for a choir rehearsal ahead of a concert that evening.

But Hyland was ‘embarrassed’ when police officers pulled her out of the practice to breathalyse her after they had received reports of a drink driver.

David Rowe, defending, said Hyland lived three miles from the nearest bus stop and often gave lifts to those in the rural community who could not drive.

He said a disqualification would also make it difficult for her to carry out her volunteer work and described her as ‘an asset’ to the village of Filleigh.

Magistrates fined Hyland £350 and disqualified her from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £35.

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