Drink driver takes on peer mentor role

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A woman was commended by a magistrate for completely turning her life around after being disqualified from driving for four years for alcohol-related motoring offences.

Sharon Mancini is now a mentor for people with drink or drug problems and wanted to expand that role to help others.

Mancini, a 55-year-old grandmother, of Links Gate, Lytham, applied for her driving ban to be lifted early.

She was granted the immediate return of her licence by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Clifford Boynton, told her: “You have done a lot of work in turning yourself around and also done commendable work with people coping with addiction.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said police saw Mancini driving a Mercedes in Links Gate in May 2011. A blood test showed 108 millilitres of alcohol in her body – 80 is the limit.

In July the same year police received an anonymous tip Mancini was drunk at the wheel of her Mercedes as she drove away from a hotel. She failed to provide a specimen for alcohol testing when requested by police.

For both offences she was banned from the road for 48 months.

Mancini told the court that at the time she was helping care for her sister who had a brain tumour.

She added: “I was distraught, knowing she was going to die. I used to go to help her each day.

“After I had finished I would have a couple of glasses of wine before going home.”

After being banned from driving she had counselling to stop drinking completely. She was so successful she trained to be a peer mentor helping other people with substance abuse problems.

Her next step would be to help offenders.

She would have to visit people in prison and at home and would need to drive to do that.

She added: “When I lost my licence, at the time it was the best thing for me. Since then I have literally turned my life around.”

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