A woman who drove from Cowes to East Cowes whilst drunk was caught when a taxi driver spotted her poor driving and followed her home, at the same time that their passenger alerted Police.
54-year-old Chantal Andrea Louise Reed, of Cavalier Quay in East Cowes, appeared before the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with drink driving (88 microgrammes) – an offence she pleaded guilty to at the first opportunity.
The court heard how Reed was arrested by Police during the early hours of 23rd May after members of the public alerted officers to a suspected drink driver on the roads.
Liz Miller, prosecuting, explained to the court that a taxi driver and passenger spotted a silver Mazda driving poorly whilst travelling from Cowes to East Cowes via Newport at 02:47. The taxi followed the car whilst the passenger called Police on 999 to report the crime in progress.
Reed stopped her vehicle several times and confronted the occupants of the taxi, claiming she had broken down. She was unaware that they had alerted the authorities. With Police still en route to the area, the taxi followed Reed to her final destination – her home at Cavalier Quay. It’s here that Police arrested the 54-year-old.
Defending, Reed’s solicitor Amy Hosell explained how it was her first time out in a year-and-a-half having strictly isolated during the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployed Reed was enjoying a night out with friends watching Eurovision and had intended to catch the chain ferry home to East Cowes. However, she blacked out and doesn’t remember why she didn’t catch the chain ferry, instead deciding to drive back home whilst 2-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.
Reed’s solicitor told the court that she is embarrassed at her behaviour and acknowledges that she could have killed someone. It was also said that Chantal had since attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for her overdrinking problem which stretches back 8 years.
Magistrates handed down a 22-month driving ban and ordered Chantal Reed, who has a property on the Island and in London, to pay a £300 fine, £85 costs and a surcharge of £34.