A DRINK-DRIVE nurse has been made subject to a curfew despite magistrates being told it would interfere with her hospital shifts.

William Staunton, defending, told Blackburn magistrates a curfew would effectively be a punishment for the community and his client Hannah Cartwright's colleagues who would have to cover her night shifts.

“I ask you to draw back from a curfew as an act of mercy and compassion,” said Mr Staunton.

“It is a matter of great shame and regret that she has put herself in this position but I would ask you to draw back from a curfew and deal with this by way of financial penalty.”

The magistrates were told by their legal adviser that the high reading took the matter into the community bracket in the sentencing guidelines.

But Mr Staunton said they were guidelines and not tramlines.

“You have the power to step back from a community penalty and deal with this matter by way of a fine and disqualification which I would say was wholly appropriate,” said Mr Staunton.

“She is an incredibly hard worker described in a reference as a great asset to the team at Longridge Community Hospital. A curfew would interfere with that work.”

Cartwright, 30,of Copster Drive, Longridge, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in Higher Road, Longridge, on July 18. She was made subject to a curfew for two months between 9pm and 6am and banned from driving for 24 months. Cartwright, who gave a reading of 106 against the legal limit of 35, was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Sazeeda Ismail, prosecuting, said a couple visiting friends on Higher Road were sitting in the back garden when they heard a loud bang and a scraping noise.

They ran to the front where they saw their car had been badly damaged by another vehicle driven by Cartwright.

She was asked to wait for the police to arrive but collected some belongings and walked off. The owner of the parked vehicle called the police and followed her to her home address where she was arrested.

“She said she went home because she had children there,” said Miss Ismail who confirmed the defendant had no previous convictions.

Mr Staunton described his client as a “binge” drinker.

“She has not touched a drop of alcohol since this incident,” said Mr Staunton.