Teacher drove while three times over limit on mulled wine

Sarah Ramoth at Harrogate Magistrates Court.  Picutre: Ross Parry Agency
Sarah Ramoth at Harrogate Magistrates Court. Picutre: Ross Parry Agency
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A BOARDING school teacher has admitted being almost three times the drink-drive limit but told a court she didn’t realise the mulled wine she was drinking contained spirits.

Sarah Ramoth, 41, of Wakefield, head of chemistry at the independent day and boarding school Harrogate Ladies’ College, also told the court she had “ingested” mouthwash which could have affected her breath test.

She will now find out her fate in February after reports have been compiled regarding her arguments.

At the brief hearing at Harrogate Magistrates Court today, Ben Campbell, for Ramoth, said: “The first argument is that this defendant was not aware of the content of that which she had drunk.”

When pressed by magistrates for more detail, Mr Campbell added: “She had drunk alcohol, less than two glasses of mulled wine.

“Plainly the reading given later on the fact of it appears inconsistent with that.

“It is understood, in fact, that what she drank was a mulled drink that she thought was red wine.

“She now understands it also contained other alcoholic substances by way of spirits.

“The other issue subject to medical reports or an expert report is that this defendant had not only used mouthwash to clear her mouth but had accidentally swallowed some.

“Therefore we will ask for an investigation into the effect that may have had on the reading that she subsequently gave.”

Martin Townend, prosecuting, told the court that just before 11pm on December 7, Ramoth was seen in her vehicle on the hard shoulder of the A1(M), driving from Harrogate to Wakefield.

When police approached her car, they could smell alcohol and arrested her - and a breathalyser test at the police station gave a reading of 96mcgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Magistrates adjourned the case until February next year.