THE wife of a York MP has been fined £398 and banned from driving for 15 months by York Magistrates after admitting drink driving.

Victoria Sturdy, the wife of York Outer Conservative MP Julian Sturdy, was more than one and a half times the drink drive limit when stopped by police in Westminster Road, York, on September 10, the court heard.

Police had acted after receiving anonymous calls raising concerns that she had been drinking when she was going to collect her children from school, said Katy Varlow, prosecuting.

A roadside breath test proved positive and she was arrested and taken to the police station, where a test showed she had 136 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, while the legal limit is 80.

Sturdy, 44, of Bilton in Ainsty, near Tockwith, who works as a part-time secretary for the MP, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle while above the prescribed limit.

Her solicitor, Tony Eastwood, told magistrates that she felt "genuine remorse" and had written a letter to the bench to express this.

He said that when she was stopped, she had not drunk any alcohol for at least 14 and a half hours, since the early hours of that day.

He said it was a classic case of believing the alcohol was out of her system. “She hadn’t the slightest inkling she was over the prescribed limit,” he said, adding there was no deliberate intention to drive under the influence.

He said Sturdy had been driving for 27 years with a completely clean record, not having even received a fixed penalty charge notice. It was her first court appearance and he could say with great confidence it would be her last.

He said she wanted to attend a drink drive rehabilitation course. “She wants something positive to come out of this disastrous situation,” he said.

He produced three character references from people including a county councillor and a retired police sergeant.

Sturdy was ordered to pay a £398 fine, which was reduced for an early guilty plea, plus an additional £85 costs and a £39 surcharge, and disqualified from driving for 15 months, but was told this would be reduced by 15 weeks if she completes a drink drive rehabilitation course.

Given opportunity to comment by The Press, Mr Sturdy said yesterday: “Victoria apologises unreservedly for her actions and fully accepts the decision of the court.”