STAFF at a Ballymena supermarket were able to stop a suspected over-the-limit woman from leaving in a vehicle and police then located her 'stumbling' away from the scene.
Details emerged at Ballymena Magistrates Court (main picture) where Agnes Thompson (58), of Galgorm Road in Ballymena, admitted failing to provide an evidential breath sample to the PSNI.
A prosecutor said around 4pm on January 17 this year the defendant was at Robinson's supermarket at Cullybackey Road in Ballymena.
When she attempted to enter a vehicle and drive, staff were able to stop her.
The defendant then left on foot in the direction of Ballymena town centre where police stopped her "unsteady on her feet and stumbling"; her speech was slurred and there was a smell of intoxicating liquor.
The defendant refused to give an evidential sample to police.
A defence lawyer said the defendant "was employed for the last number of years as a team leader in a domiciliary care support setting. She leads a team of people who care for females with learning difficulties who have been transferred from Muckamore".
He said the defendant was "hard-pressed at work" and was dealing with other issues.
On the day in question, after stopping drinking for a number of hours she then had gone to the supermarket.
The lawyer added: "She was taken into the Police Station. This was a frightening and alien experience for her".
District Judge Nigel Broderick said there were two aggravating features - refusing a sample and a "relevant entry some time ago".
He banned the defendant from the roads for 18 months and fined her £300.