A MOTORIST three times the drink drive limit had three young children in her car when she crashed into a ditch, York Magistrates Court heard.

Defence solicitor Ghaz Iqbal said Sally Antonia Perrott was struggling to cope with a stressful job, a death and the break-up of her marriage.

District judge Adrian Lower said she had known very soon after she got into the car she was unfit to drive, but she had continued, risking the lives of herself, the children and other road users.

"I would have been justified in sending you to prison," he said.

However, she did a very pressurised job in the caring industry that "took a special kind of person" to do because of the demands it placed on them.

She also had the difficulties of a marital break up and the death of a relative very close to her.

"Something had to give and that something was you," he said.

"I am afraid many people do in stressful circumstances begin drinking and that becomes a problem."

He banned her from driving for three years and gave her a 12-month community order with 15 days' rehabilitative activities, fined her £600 and ordered her to pay a £90 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

Perrott, 36, of West End Avenue, Appleton Roebuck, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Jane Chadwick, prosecuting, said Perrott was driving south along Broad Lane from Bishopthorpe to Appleton Roebuck on 9.20pm on July 30 in daylight.

As the road bent, she kept driving in a straight line and ended up in a ditch.

An eye-witness went to her help and that of the crying, distressed children.

A breath test gave a reading of 102 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Perrott told police she had had a large glass of wine at lunchtime and in the evening had had two glasses of wine in a pub.

She also told police she was remorseful.

Mr Iqbal said Perrott now accepted she needed help.