Florist, 58, who drove to a pub while drunk parked in a hedge

Florist, 58, who drove to a pub while drunk on Jägermeister and parked her car in a hedge is banned from the roads for two years

  •  A breath test showed that Kim Riefer, 58, was three times over alcohol limit
  •  Ms Riefer was found by officers barely able to speak in a bathroom

A florist who drove to a pub drunk on Jägermeister was so intoxicated she parked her car in a hedge before going to the bar.

Kim Riefer, 58, narrowly missed a bystander as she made her perilous two mile journey for early doors, but was apparently oblivious to the near-miss and drove on into a car park.

She then left her Citroen Berlingo parked across two spaces with the front end of the vehicle embedded in the privet hedge before she staggered to the nearby Jolly Thresher in Lymm, Cheshire in the hope of ordering more drink.

Concerned staff at the posh country pub confiscated her car keys and called police who found Ms Riefer ‘incoherent’ and barely able to speak in the ladies bathroom.

A breath test showed she was more than three times the alcohol limit. The florist owner in Manchester said she had been consuming the German dark brown herbal liqueur, which has an alcohol volume of 35%, to relieve her stomach pains.

Kim Riefer was banned from driving for 26 months after she parked her car in a hedge while going to a pub

Mr Riefer, who lives in a £300,000 waterfront house alongside the Bridgewater Canal in Lymm admitted to drink driving and was banned from the roads for 26 months.

Miss Yvonne Dobson, prosecuting at Warrington Magistrates’ Court, said: ‘It was April 11 of this year at around 4.30pm. Officers attended a case of a road traffic collision where the defendant has attended the public house in Warrington. 

‘She almost crashed into a bystander before crashing into a hedge before entering the car park of the pub.

‘Staff, as the defendant has entered the public house, have taken the vehicle keys from the defendant.

‘As officers arrive at the location, they see the defendant’s vehicle parked over two spaces, with the front end situated in a hedge.

‘Officers entered the public house and the defendant was in the bathroom.

‘Due to the level of intoxication the officer felt that the defendant was unable to coherently communicate with him. Whilst the officer was trying to speak with her, her eyes were glazed, her speech was slurred, she was unsteady on her feet and there was the smell of intoxicants on her breath.

‘As such the defendant was arrested and took a breath test. She made no reply when told she was under caution. ‘As she was transported to custody, the defendant said, ‘I have had Jägermeister to ease my pain.’ She continued to make references to consuming alcohol for stomach pain. The defendant is of previous good character, having no previous convictions – she has now lost that good character.

Ms Riefer drove while drunk to posh country pub the Jolly Thresher in Lymm, Cheshire hoping to order more drink

Tests showed Ms Riefer had 114 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost triple the legal limit of 35mcg. 

Representing herself in court, she said she had sought counselling for alcohol issues. 

She said: ‘I didn’t realise what I was drinking. At that time. I was looking after my sister with mental health issues and I was under a lot of stress. I did not know what Jägermeister was as I am a wine drinker.

‘Yes, I did drink and drive and I did drive to the pub but I cannot say anymore than that. I am sorry. I am a good person.

‘I have gone for counselling now, I am going to Pathways because I know the last three years have been difficult for me, losing my mum and then losing my sister. I am sorry, I am deeply, deeply sorry.’

‘I have been in touch with Pathways, they have got me a key worker, and I have been to AA meetings, twice with a friend. I have done wrong and I am really, really sorry.’

Magistrates also sentenced Ms Riefer to a 12-month community order with a requirement of 120 hours of unpaid work and  10 days of rehabilitation. She was also made to pay £234 in costs plus a victim surcharge.

The florist was found in a breath test to be nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit for driving when she parked her car

JP Paul Chadwick told her: ‘We have taken into consideration the personal mitigation you have offered in court this afternoon and have taken into consideration the steps you’ve taken to address your addiction, with Pathways and Alcohol Anonymous.

‘Equally, we have taken into consideration your previous good character. The other side of the coin is that it was a very high reading. It was late afternoon, at a busy junction. There was traffic and pedestrians in the vicinity.

‘It was noted that you very nearly hit someone turning into the pub and you parked the front of the car in a hedge. The presentence report highlights you had driven some distance.

‘You had a drink and knew the effects of drink were in your system and you still got behind the wheel.

‘You travelled to a pub. Members of the public were around. It was a member of the public who came across to you at the car park, to see if you were OK, because the standard of your driving was not what you would expect for a competent motorist.

‘You were a hazard to yourself and other road users. I hope that you address your issues with the help of the external agencies.’

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