Wife who downed two bottles of wine after she couldn't find her AA meeting was the 'drunkest driver police had ever seen'

Jane Hofmann

Jane Hofmann: She was found to have 417mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg

When a wealthy businessman's wife got lost in her Mercedes on the way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, she did not stop to ask for directions.

Instead she stopped at a supermarket, bought two bottles of wine and promptly downed them.

When police pulled her over for erratic driving Jane Hofmann was so drunk she could not turn off the engine.

Experienced officers described her as the most intoxicated driver they had ever come across and she was found to be five times over the drink drive limit.

Hofmann narrowly escaped jail after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Her husband, 42-year-old Nigel Hofmann, owns a successful butcher's business, winning a string of awards for his pies and sausages.

Wakefield Magistrates' Court heard that the self- confessed alcoholic left home in Sharlston, West Yorkshire, on September 1 to drive five miles to an AA meeting in Pontefract.

But when she was unable to find the meeting, she headed back towards her sprawling farm.

Just 400 yards from home, she pulled into a supermarket and bought two bottles of wine.

Unwilling to take the alcohol back to her house, she drank it in her silver Mercedes 4x4 with personalised plates before attempting to drive the short distance home.

She was spotted by two police officers driving without lights. She was repeatedly speeding up and slowing down and weaving around in the face of oncoming traffic.

As they flashed their lights, Hofmann continued drifting over the centre line and mounting the kerb.

When they finally pulled her over she was unable to switch the engine off and had to be helped to the police car, where she drifted in and out of consciousness on the way to the police station before being transferred to hospital.

She was found to have 417mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

Hofmann driving Mercedes similar

Hofmann was caught while driving a Mercedes 4x4 similar to this one

Hofmann, who sobbed throughout the 45-minute hearing, heard one officer describe her as the drunkest driver he had ever stopped.

Magistrate Dr Hazel Chowcat said: 'We could have sent you to prison but we are not because of your previous good character.

'Your actions were entirely irresponsible. You could have killed yourself and you could have killed other road users.'

Hofmann was given a 12-month supervision order, a 16-week curfew with an electronic tag and was disqualified from driving for three years.

She must pay £60 costs and attend a drink-driver rehabilitation scheme. She refused to comment after the case.

The highest recorded breath test is believed to be that of Michelle Fothergill, 24, of Morley, West Yorkshire, who registered ten times over the legal limit in 1999. She was jailed and banned from the road.