WATCH: Coventry mum jailed for 26 weeks after launching car with 19-month-old son in while three times over drink limit - The Coventry Observer

12th Aug, 2022

WATCH: Coventry mum jailed for 26 weeks after launching car with 19-month-old son in while three times over drink limit

A COVENTRY mum who launched her car – containing her 19-month-old son – in the air after failing to negotiate a roundabout while more than three times over the drink-drive limit has been jailed for 26 weeks.

Tania Chikwature, of Butterfly Way in Coventry, was driving her grey Nissan Qashqai on the A605 in Peterborough with her 19-month-old son in the back at 11.40am on December 12 when the crash happened.

After overtaking a lorry on the wrong side of solid white lines, she failed to negotiate the roundabout – colliding with the crash barrier and coming to a stop 50 metres further up the road.

Members of the public went to their aid and pulled the toddler, who was hanging upside down in his car seat, out of the wreckage.

Chikwature refused to provide a routine breath sample.

Four and three-quarter hours later in hospital, a blood sample was taken which showed 156 milligrams of alcohol in Chikwature’s blood – the legal limit is 80.

Due to the amount of time that had passed since the collision, investigators requested a back-calculation was carried out by the forensic laboratory in order to accurately reflect the true alcohol levels at the time of the collision.

The results came back with 246 milligrams of alcohol in her blood – more than three times the legal limit.

PC David Tudman, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “Chikwature showed complete disregard for the safety and welfare of her child and other road users in her manner of driving.

“It is pure luck that nobody was killed that day.

“This should serve as a warning to all motorists to highlight the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol – and to do so whilst in charge of a child is utterly irresponsible.”

Chikwature appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday (April 10) after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol at a hearing last month.

She was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

A witness statement provided by the lorry driver Chikwature was overtaking read: ‘The first point I became aware something was wrong was when I checked my mirror as I was approaching the roundabout outside Peterborough services.

‘I could see a car on the wrong side of the double white lines overtaking me at speed and I thought ‘what are you doing?’.

‘I then had to brake more than I would have to make sure the car had space to get in before the roundabout.

‘I saw the car veer right and mount the concrete island before the roundabout about halfway along.

‘The car was completely out of control and went straight into the roundabout straight on where it launched into the air, I remember thinking as it went in the air they’re not going to make it.

‘I thought I was witnessing a fatal road accident.

‘After completing the call to the emergency services I went to the car.

‘The car was totally destroyed and on its roof, the only other occupant was crumpled with her feet in the driver’s side and her body leaning back between the two front seats.

‘What I witnessed fell far below what I would expect of a reasonable and competent driver, it was dangerous and stupid.

‘I am upset that this was done with the child in the car, it was irresponsible.’

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