A LONGTOWN woman whose car overturned during high winds as she took her poorly dog to see a vet was drink driving.

In an unfortunate sequence of events, 61-year-old former accounts worker Pamela Jane Illsley's second healthy dog, which was also in the car during the journey, escaped after the crash.

It was then knocked over and killed. The defendant admitted drink driving. Prosecutor George Shelley outlined the facts.

He said that police were called to the Borders Business Park at Longtown on February 5 following an accident, which involved the Hyundai car the defendant was driving overturning and Illsley being trapped in the vehicle.

A gust of wind flipped over her car. When they arrived at the scene, the officers could smell alcohol, and so they breathalysed the defendant.

An initial alcohol reading of 123mcg in every 100mls of breath was measured at the roadside, well over the 35mcg limit.

“She was taken to hospital and a breath test was later conducted at custody,” said Mr Shelley.

That second “evidential” reading produced a reading of 69mcg of alcohol, just under twice the limit. Mr Shelley confirmed that the defendant had no previous offending history.

Tariq Khawam, defending, said the background included Illsley, of Burn Street, Longtown, having lost her husband three years ago.

“Since then, she’s worked in the care industry because she found, having worked previously in accounts, that she could care for other people," said the lawyer.

“She had been at home drinking when one of her dogs became ill and her son in law had borrowed her car and left her with his car.

"This was during the really poor weather, when the wind was gusting, bringing down trees.” The defendant was taking the sickly dog to the vets’ when the accident happened.

Her car overturned after being caught by a gust of wind and hitting the kerb, said Mrs Khawam.

Mr Khawam said the defendant, whose second dog died after escaping from the overturned car and being knocked over, wanted to profusely apologise for her offence.

He added: “She doesn’t drink regularly. It was just the way she was feeling on that day but then her dog became ill. She has never been in trouble with the police before… This lady has dedicated her life to helping others.”

Magistrates imposed a £230 fine, with £85 costs and a £92 victim surcharge. She was given a 20 month driving ban, but offered the drink driver rehabilitation course, which will reduce the disqualification by 20 weeks if she completes the course by a specified deadline.