Woman Cleared Of Drink Driving Claimed She Drank Vodka To ‘Calm Down’ After The Crash
A woman who crashed her car while her four children were in the back seat has been cleared of drink driving after claiming she began drinking after the accident in order to ‘calm down’.
Kelsey Ridings, 26, crashed her Mercedes head-on into another car, and was reported by the other driver to be ‘unsteady on her feet’ as she offered him £1,000 – rather than going through insurance companies – before leaving the scene before police arrived.
She was later tracked down at a friend’s house, where police found her to be more than four times over the legal drink-driving limit. Yet, following a hearing at Tameside Magistrates Court, Ridings has been cleared of the drink driving charge after a justice of the peace ruled there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prove she had been drunk at the time of the crash.
Despite the other driver telling the court that Ridings ‘appeared to be intoxicated and was slurring her words’, Ridings said she was sober at the time of the accident, and claimed it was only after arriving at her friend’s house that she asked for a drink because she felt ‘shook up’ following the incident.
‘I was panicking and asked her to get me a strong drink. I just needed to calm my nerves and I stood outside her house having a glass of vodka which more or less neat and I then necked it then had another one whilst I was getting the kids out of my car and into my friends van,’ Ridings claimed, per Manchester Evening News.
‘I just feel like a bad mum drinking. I was there 15-20 minutes and it was long enough to have two drinks. I just panicked. They were incredibly strong drinks. I had not had a drink before it,’ she added.
Riding’s friend, Paige Azad, said her friend had arrived at her house ‘distraught and crying her eyes out’ before asking her to make her a drink, telling the court, ‘It’s all my fault as I might as well have given her the whole litre of vodka. I am not going to lie. She just necked it.’
Azad also claimed she would ‘never let her drink drive home’ as she is godmother to her four children.
In delivering the verdict, the chairman of the bench said that while they found the other driver’s account to be ‘clear and credible’, they found Riding’s statements ‘confused, emotional at times and misleading’, while describing Azad’s testimony as ‘incredible’.
Yet with the prosecution unable to prove their case ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, Ridings was cleared of the charge, and pictured later celebrating outside the court with Azad.
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