A woman arrested for drink driving on the Magic Roundabout has admitted she was encouraged to drive by a friend.

Sharon Sithole, of Lennox Drive in Walcot, was spotted by Wiltshire Police officers “driving erratically” on the Magic Roundabout in Swindon just before 3am on March 1, 2024.

Appearing before Swindon Magistrate’s Court on March 19, the 25-year-old who is a carer for the elderly and vulnerable pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving and one count of driving without insurance.

Despite protests that she relied on being able to drive for work, she received a 12-month ban. 

Prosecutor Kate Princ said: "Officers saw a Hyundai vehicle driving erratically around the roundabout and Ms Sithole was asked to give a breath sample on the roadside,” said

“She was found to have 41 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, which is above the legal limit.

“Ms Sithole was also found to have been driving without insurance, although the owner of the car who was her passenger had assured her that she would be covered.”

But defence lawyer Gordon Hopson explained that Sithole had never intended to drive that night and was encouraged to do so by her friend.

Swindon Advertiser: Sithole was pulled over for drink driving on the Magic Roundabout in Swindon.Sithole was pulled over for drink driving on the Magic Roundabout in Swindon. (Image: Newsquest)

“On that night she had been out in Old Town with her friend,” Mr Hopson told the court.

“Over the course of the evening she had consumed some alcohol because she wasn’t intending to drive, she was a passenger.

“But when they went to leave the pair quickly realised her friend wasn’t in any fit state to drive and Ms Sithole was encouraged to drive instead and her friend believed she had the correct insurance.”

The court heard how the 25-year-old mother had made a “mistake” and would be severely affected by any financial punishment or loss of license.

“She is a mother and provides financially for her five-year-old daughter who lives in Zimbabwe, and she relies on being able to drive to work,” added Mr Hopson.

Chair of the magistrate’s bench Philip Mickleborough told the woman: “We are required to disqualify you from driving for a minimum of 12 months. We could go higher but have decided not to."

Sithole must now also pay a total of £830, which comprises of a £213 surcharge, £85 prosecution costs and £532 in fines.