A DRINK-DRIVING teenager who sped away from police in Wigan town centre following St Patrick’s Day celebrations was caught out by a pair of flashing shamrock earrings.
Katrina Stokes had clambered into the back seat after being pursued by officers but had been seen on CCTV wearing the novelty earrings.
The 19-year-old said she had left the driver’s seat of the Ford Focus because she was scared of a police dog and had not tried to deceive officers about who had been driving.
Stokes, who pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving without third party insurance, was disqualified for 12 months.
A hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard the teenager, from High Wycombe, was in Wigan to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with her boyfriend and family.
She had consumed “very little” alcohol, the court was told, as she is in the early stages of pregnancy.
Martin Jones, defending, said his client had been “placed under pressure” to provide lifts because “everyone thought she had limited her consumption, which was a stupid mistake”.
An alcohol breath test recorded a level of 44mg, the legal limit is 35mg.
Katie Beattie, prosecuting, told magistrates Stokes had been identified on central watch CCTV cameras driving erratically and when a police car followed her, she drove off at speed through a red light.
Once the car had been pulled over, officers saw there was no-one in the driving seat. A police dog had circled the vehicle but had not found a scent to indicate the driver had left the car.
The attending officers were then informed by central watch the driver had been identified as wearing “flashing earrings”.
Ms Beattie said Stokes had informed officers she had moved to the back seat because she was scared of the dog and denied being deceitful. Mr Jones added: “She did not leave the vehicle but moved because of the dog. She admitted she was the driver of the vehicle and was co-operative.
“She made full and frank admissions on interview and seized the opportunity to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity.” For the drink driving charge Stokes received the 12 month disqualification, a £110 fine, £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £20.
For the driving without third party insurance charge she was ordered to pay a £110 fine.