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Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher has been banned from the road for two years after drunkenly driving to meet her children while three times the legal limit.
The 41-year-old TV host was seen driving her red BMW X4 erratically before she parked up in High Street Eton to meet her two children for a day out shopping for school uniforms.
Thames Valley Police officers breathalysed Gallacher just after 11am, finding she had 106micrograms of alcohol in her breath – three times the legal limit.
At East Berkshire magistrates court this morning, Gallacher, dressed all in black, sat with her head bowed after pleading guilty to drink driving.
She said she was stressed at the time because of an ongoing legal battle with ex-husband Paul Sampson, and told the court she did not know she was over the drink drive limit when she got behind the wheel.
The court heard she stopped off to meet a friend after work at the Winning Post pub in Winkfield the previous evening, drinking until the early hours of the morning before taking a taxi home.
Gallacher took an Uber back to the pub in the morning to collect her car, but was still over the limit when she set off to meet her children.
“The defendant is not saying she never drinks alcohol socially, but this night, having driven herself from the studio to the pub where she met her friend and leaving at 2.30am or 3am in the morning, is extremely unusual for this defendant”, said Jennifer Dempster, defending.
“What she did was exactly right until 11am the next morning, she took a taxi home from the pub.
“The next morning she took an Uber to the pub to pick up her car, had she known she was still over the limit at 11am she would never have driven.”
Ms Demspter told the court Gallacher faces a final hearing next week in her legal battle with rugby union star Mr Sampson, which caused her “increasing stress” at the time of her arrest.
“She is horrified she finds herself in this position – we submit she took all appropriate steps and this was not a flagrant disregard for the driving laws, far from it”, she added.
The court heard police were alerted to Gallacher’s BMW driving erratically in Eton and they used CCTV to find her parked on the High Street.
Officers reported smelling alcohol on her breath and breathalysed the TV host at the roadside.
Gallacher, a mother-of-two, had been due to take her children shopping for school uniforms that morning.
Ms Dempster stressed to the court that Gallacher had never had the children, aged seven and ten, in the car.
“The meeting with her children happened outside the car, they were about to go to Windsor with her – they would never have been in the car”, she said.
District Judge Davinder Lacchar sentenced Gallacher to 100 hours of community and a two-year driving ban.
She also ordered Gallacher, who got her TV break presenting Sky Sports News before going on to star in shows including The Games, Gladiators, and Strictly Come Dancing, to pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
Gallacher, of Virginia Water, Surrey, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol.
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