A government worker who binged on booze over two days had her car keys swiped by police when she got stuck in traffic after taking to the roads.

Clare Maddison, 46, did not immediately stop when they put on their blues and twos behind her on the A1231 Sunderland Highway at Washington.

But her path got blocked by other motorists, allowing an officer to run to her Ford Fiesta and remove the keys from the ignition, a court heard.

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The Department for Work and Pensions employee, of Foxhills Close, Fatfield, Washington, began drinking with a friend on the evening of Friday, July 9.

And she carried on at teatime the next day – and then chose to drive to Sunderland after her pal went home.

When stopped in her tracks, she gave a breath test reading of 99mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Lorna Rimell told magistrates in South Tyneside: “Officers were flagged down by a motorist who alerted them to a possible drink-driver.

“They have searched for it and they have found it. They have put on their blue lights.

“The driver didn’t stop immediately but on the A1231 eastbound, the car got held up in traffic.

“An officer has got out and taken the keys out of the defendant’s car. The officer could smell alcohol.

“This is a lady of previous good character, there is no record at all.”

A Probation Service report read to the court said Maddison had been drinking alcohol the day before and again on the Saturday teatime.

It said she did not recall why she had decided to drive or what she had wanted in Sunderland.

The report also found Maddison had no drink, drugs or mental health issues that had contributed to her offence, and was at low risk of reoffending.

Peter Thubron, defending, said: “She accepts the reading. There was no police chase or accident, and there’s no previous convictions."

Maddison, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was banned from the roads for 26 months and given a 12-month community order.

It has a requirement of 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

She was also fined £200, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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