A WOMAN got out of her car and screamed at passing traffic after drinking, a court heard.

Jane Hawke, of Cinderhills Road in Holmfirth, admitted a charge of failing to provide a breath specimen after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

But the 48-year-old avoided a driving ban yesterday after Kirklees magistrates heard how her frail mother relied on her.

Linda Fowler, prosecuting, said that on May 21 police received a report about a female shouting and screaming at passing traffic in Penistone Road.

Hawke’s Honda Jazz was found nearby with the key still in the ignition.

Mrs Fowler said: “Officers spoke with her and it was clear that she was drunk. In the vehicle an empty bottle of Vermouth was found.”

Hawke was asked to provide samples of breath at the police station but refused. She claimed that the empty bottle had been in the car for a while.

She said that she was going through a divorce and suffering from mental health problems.

Hawke claimed that she had pulled over and had no intention to drive further. She said that she was trying to flag down a motorist to take her to a friend’s house so that she could get calm and collect her thoughts.

Hawke claimed that she felt intimidated when police asked her to provide breath samples.

Paul Blanchard, mitigating, said that his client had been in a state of distress and had recently come out of an abusive relationship.

Mr Blanchard added that there were concerns for Hawke’s safety at the time of the incident.

He said: “One caller (to police) said that she was in the middle of the road trying to stop traffic and appeared distraught. “It’s clear the whole situation was very distressing – she wanted to be taken to a place of safety.”

Hawke said that she was the principal carer for her elderly mother and needed to drive.

Magistrates endorsed her licence with 10 penalty points but did not ban her. They also ordered her to pay a £95 fine, £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.