A Ribble Valley businesswoman was nearly three times the drink drive limit as she drove home from the shop at 5.45pm.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard former cheese company director Tracy Carefoot was parked on her drive when officers approached, and they noticed an empty vodka bottle on the passenger seat.

Carefoot, 59, of Knowles Brow, Stonyhurst, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

She was made subject to a Community Order for 12 months with 50 hours unpaid work, was banned from driving for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £114 victim surcharge.

Victoria Forrest, prosecuting, said a member of the public contacted the police because they were concerned about the standard of the defendant's driving in Mitton Road, Whalley, on March 9.

They reported her vehicle, a Peugeot 3008, swerving across the road and at one stage hitting the kerb.

As they drove past they noticed damage to the driver's side of the vehicle.

When police conducted a roadside breath test, Carefoot gave a reading of 101 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, almost three times the legal limit of 35mcg.

Simon Gretton, in mitigation, said the damage to the car had been caused in a collision a few weeks earlier which was not his client's fault.

He told the court how in 2021 Carefoot lost her husband and her father, and was struggling with the impact of Covid-19 and trying to keep the family business, Singletons Cheese Co Ltd, of Longridge, afloat.

The business went into administration in August 2022 and was subsequently sold to Carron Lodge of Inglewhite.

"When the business closed she was desperately disappointed for former employees who lost their jobs in the business she was running," said Mr Gretton.

"The business had been set up by her grandparents 80 years earlier."

He said following the incident before the court his client had spent six weeks in the Priory clinic, and while she was there made contact with Alcoholics Anonymous.

"She has taken positive steps in her own life since the offences," said Mr Gretton.

District Judge Alexandra Preston said she accepted Carefoot had shown genuine remorse and that very difficult circumstances had led to her developing a problem with alcohol.

"I commend the steps you have taken to address your alcohol dependency," she added.