A woman who was caught drink-driving following an argument with her husband has been banned from the road for 18 months.

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Marilyn Welbourn was almost two-and-a-half times over the legal limit when police found her behind the wheel in Dersingham on January 13, a court heard yesterday.

Josephine Jones, prosecuting, told King’s Lynn magistrates: “Police received information about a Mazda MX5 driving erratically down the B1140. The vehicle was found in Brickley Lane with the driver having taken the keys out of the car. There was a strong scent of alcohol coming from Mrs Welbourn who said she had driven there from Hunstanton.”

The 55-year-old, of High Street, Spalding, had 195mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg. Magistrates heard the couple had gone away to relieve strain in their relationship, caused largely by the ill health of the accused’s mother.

James McWhiter, defending Welbourn, said she had held a clean driving licence for 36 years and was “an extremely respectable lady”.

“Mrs Welbourn felt she had no other option but to grab her coat, handbag and car keys,” he added. “She left the accommodation without a thought to the level of her alcohol consumption and got in her car. She pulled over on Brickley Lane and talking to herself said ‘what on earth am I doing? I know I shouldn’t be driving’. Her intention was to park in a layby and go back to Hunstanton in the morning.”

Welbourn, who admitted to driving with excess alcohol, was fined £200, with costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge. Her ban will be reduced by four months if she takes part in a drink-driving rehabilitation course.

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