Teaching assistant, 39, who crashed her Range Rover into a parked car after downing wine to celebrate her ‘first night of freedom’ following a divorce had to be restrained in ‘bear hug’ before
- Deborah Peplow has been banned from driving for two years and fined £200
Teaching assistant, who celebrated being ‘free’ after splitting up with her husband, was three times over the alcohol limit when she crashed her Range Rover into another vehicle.
Mother-of-three Deborah Peplow, 39, was said to have ‘felt like a teenager’ while out drinking with her friends to toast her birthday and the end of an ‘unhappy marriage’ to her businessman husband.
But later that evening, she crashed her Evoque into another vehicle in the car park of a cricket, sports and social club before driving off.
Police traced Peplow’s number plate and found her barefoot at home ‘clearly under the influence of alcohol’. She was being held in a ‘bear hug’ and screaming for her daughter as a crowd looked on.
Initially Peplow, of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, tested more than three times the alcohol limit but was so drunk she was unable to provide another breath sample. She has been banned from driving for two years and was fined £200, in addition to £200 in costs.
Deborah Peplow, 39, who celebrated being ‘free’ after splitting up with her husband, was three times over the alcohol limit when she crashed her Range Rover into another vehicle
Deborah Peplow is pictured outside Crewe magistrates court where she was banned from driving for two years and handed a £200 fine
Peplow has claimed it was her first night out with friends after being ‘freed’ from her husband who she said had not allowed her to socialise.
At Crewe magistrates court Peplow pleaded guilty to failing to provide a sample of breath for analysis. Her unnamed husband was not at the hearing.
The court heard the incident began at 9.40pm at the Victoria Club in Holmes Chapel on June 9 after Peplow, who is thought to run an online fashion company, drank white wine with friends to take advantage of ‘new found freedom.’
The court heard the original reading was 115 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 35 micrograms.
Peplow was offered the opportunity to reduce her ban by a quarter if she completed the drive awareness course.
Miss Stephanie Fellano, prosecuting, said: ‘A PC Coppenhall was dispatched by the police control room to reports of a possible drink driver who had crashed into a parked car in a pub car park and drove off.
‘It was a Range Rover Evoque driven by the defendant. The vehicle had been driven away from the car park at the Victoria Club in Holmes Chapel. Police completed checks of the registration and identified the defendant through her insurance policy.
‘The officer arrived at her address and saw the Evoque parked outside. There was a crowd of people and the officer could see the defendant being held by a large well-built male who appeared to be hugging her.
‘She was identified as the defendant and as being the driver of the Evoque. She did not have any shoes on. She was taken by the arm by PC Coppenhall who could smell alcohol on her breath, her eyes were glazed, her speech was slurred, and she was unsteady on her feet.
When police turned up at Peplow’s home they found her barefoot and ‘clearly under the influence of alcohol’
Victoria Club in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire where Peplow drank white wine with her friends before getting into her car, crashing into another vehicle, and driving home
‘He made the assumption that she was clearly under the influence of alcohol… PC Coppenhall placed the defendant in the police vehicle but she was shouting and screaming and said she couldn’t find her five-year-old daughter.
‘She was crying and shouting in such a manner that that officer could not make out what she was saying. She confirmed it was her vehicle and she was suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol, and was asked to give a sample for a roadside breath test.
‘She was warned that by failing to provide a sample she would be arrested. She failed to provide a first sample and tried a second time and failed again. Peplow was not blowing into the device in one continuous breath, she kept stopping and hesitating.
‘She was asked if she had any medical reason for not providing a sample, and she replied, “Yes, my daughter is missing” – but clearly that’s not a medical reason. The officer noted that the front nearside of her car was damaged. The tyre was flat and the wheel was damaged. The car key was in the driver’s side footwell.
‘PC Coppenhall took the defendant to the custody suite and commenced the custody drink drive procedure again. but despite numerous chances she hesitated and was stopping, resulting in an overall failure of the test.’
In mitigation Peplow’s lawyer John Keane said: ‘Miss Peplow had been child free that evening after deciding to celebrate her birthday with some friends. She drank some wine, she was not sure how much and was taking advantage of some new found freedom.
‘Her husband had not permitted her to socialise in this way for a number of years. She described this incident on reflection as a pointless journey. It was one she realises she knows she could have walked. This is somebody who, when officers attended, gave her name, where she lived, and confirmed that she had been driving.
‘There were a number of attempts to provide a sample but ultimately not enough was provided. She was engaging with the officer. He asked her a number of questions which she replied to and answered. She also consented to providing breath with the officer. She provided the first sample. The second attempt failed.
‘There were a couple of other attempts. The machine ultimately timed out saying there was insufficient sample. She is a single mother with three children aged 16, 13, and five. Miss Peplow had recently gotten out of what she says was an abusive and controlling relationship. She tells me that the crescendo was suffering physical violence at the hands of her partner.
Peplow has claimed it was her first night out with friends after being ‘freed’ from her husband who she said had not allowed her to socialise
Peplow crashed her Evoque into another vehicle in the car park of a cricket, sports and social club before driving off
‘She stated that the level of control was such that she would go to the toilet and her husband would run his hand around the seat to check whether she had in fact sat on the toilet. He was checking the temperature.
‘The relationship had broken down some time ago and she is seeking a non-molestation order. She is undergoing therapy with what is an ongoing situation, quite properly. She was going out after a long time of not going out. She says she felt like a teenager again.’
‘I respectfully submit that the offence was not a deliberate refusal,’ the solicitor said, ‘She does engage with police officers, and does attempt to provide a specimen of breath. She has provided one sample at the police station.
‘I have to accept there was a level of impairment. Obviously, the aggravating feature is the accident but the mitigating feature is her remorse, which in my submission can be seen to be genuine. She is a teaching assistant. Term is due to start in September and she is part time.’
JP Andrew Pope told Peoplow: ‘You are not allowed to drive any motor vehicle, motor cycle or certain types of e-scooters on public roads, or any road where the public have access. If you do, driving while disqualified itself carries a custodial sentence.’
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