A MOTHER has paid a heavy price for getting behind the wheel after taking to drinking following a messy divorce, a court heard.

Tracy Kelly was stopped in Worting Road, Basingstoke, on January 8 this year, after police officers saw her car swerving on the carriageway.

The 42-year-old, of Kenilworth Road, Winklebury, Basingstoke, was breathalysed and had 64 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – nearly twice the legal drink-drive limit of 35mg.

David Fosler, prosecuting, told Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court that Kelly, who pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, committed a similar offence nine years ago.

Phil McCann, defending, said: “She had been dry but went through a messy divorce last year. At the last minute, there was a change of plan so she ended up spending Christmas alone without her children.

“She took an overdose in December and started to drink again because of what happened with her husband divorcing her.”

Referring to the offence, District Judge Philip Gillibrand told Kelly: “I have heard about swerving but it’s not into the other lane or at any excess speed. The level of personal mitigation here is high, and it must be right that I take it into account in this case.”

He banned Kelly from driving for three years, but offered her a place on a drink-drive course that would reduce her ban by 25 per cent.

Kelly was also fined £275, plus £85 costs and ordered to pay a £27 victim surcharge.