Company lawyer, who was almost four times the limit for driving under the influence, gets ten weeks in prison
A company lawyer who was caught four times over the drink-driving limit in her Range Rover after drinking her boyfriend’s ‘two glasses’ of homemade kombucha tea has been jailed.
Louise Taylor, 41, of Holmes Chapel Road, Sandbach in Cheshire, had been diagnosed with celiac disease, which affects the gut, and she claimed her friend Angela Morrison had told her the ‘disgusting’ drink was good for stomach health.
She then drank ‘two glasses’ of tea before taking a water bottle filled with the homemade liquid with her.
A traffic colleague, PC Peter Doran, said Mrs Taylor, who takes home more than £66,000 a year, had ‘slurred speech’, was ‘shaky’ on her legs and her eyes were ‘red and glassy’.
After receiving a 10-week prison sentence and a 31-month driving ban, which will be reduced if she completes a driver’s course under the influence of alcohol, Ms Taylor wept as she was led from the dock to the cells.
In Llandudno, North Wales, the magistrates’ chairman, Toby Prosser, told Ms Taylor she had “no regrets” or “acknowledgment” of responsibility for the crime.
Louise Taylor, 41, (Pictured) was given a 10-week jail sentence and a 31-month driving ban, which will be reduced if she completes a drink-driving course
Ms Taylor (above) was caught four times over the drink-driving limit in her Range Rover after drinking at least ‘two glasses’ of her boyfriend’s homemade kombucha tea
He said, “You don’t seem to have any remorse or admit any responsibility for the crime.
“We’re in a position where we have to stick to our guidelines and apply law the right way.”
At an earlier hearing before the case was adjourned for sentencing, Ms Taylor said her friend had told her the “disgusting” herbal drink was good for gut health.
She told the court, “I didn’t believe it was alcoholic,” while her friend Angela Morrison brewed it with yeast and mushrooms.
Ms Taylor said her friend Angela brewed the drink with yeast and mushrooms and was unaware at the time that the drink was also alcoholic.
“I’m not a huge drinker at all,” a bank’s general counsel and corporate secretary had insisted as proof.
She admitted that she had driven her 4×4 with a personalized number plate on the A55 with a breath alcohol content of 135. The legal limit is 35.
Her previous lawyer had said it looked like the wrong type of yeast — a brewer’s variety — had been used to make the drink.
Prosecutor Diane Williams said on the evening of April 22 that the police were behind the vehicle in Rhuallt because it was driving “over the road.” Taylor was apprehended at St Asaph and her speech was slurred.
A PC, following the white Range Rover Sport for six miles, with blue lights and sirens trying to stop it, said it had driven into the hard shoulder and nearly collided with several wagons while overtaking.
A bottle in the vehicle was half full with a liquid that smelled of alcohol.
A traffic colleague, PC Peter Doran, said: ‘Her eyes were red and glassy, her speech was slurred. She was very unsteady on her feet.’
Ms Taylor, who said she was ‘head of legal affairs’, described meeting a friend in Knutsford one morning to take their dogs for a walk. Then she went to lunch at a hotel restaurant and shared a bottle of wine.
She had stopped to see her friend Angela at Connah’s Quay on her way to Abergele.
Ms Taylor said she had been diagnosed with celiac disease, which affects the gut.
She said her friend would not knowingly give her alcohol and that she had drunk at least two glasses of the tea drink Kombucha – also drinking from a water bottle containing it while driving.
She had also taken four hay fever antihistamines that day and began to feel unwell.
Ms Taylor said she took the drink “in good faith,” claiming, “I did not drink and drive on purpose.”
A probation officer said there was still “some minimization” of the crime by Ms Taylor, who separated from her partner last year.
She currently lived in Abergele in a house inherited after the loss of her mother and was planning to sell her Cheshire property.
The officer said Ms Taylor insisted that she “rarely” drinks.
Defense attorney Andrew Hutchinson said there were no previous convictions and Taylor took home more than £66,000 a year.
The risk of her committing again was extremely low and the appearance in court had caused ‘tremendous embarrassment’.