Drink-drive teacher swigged wine from water bottle in her desk at school near Mansfield

Joseph Whitaker School.
Joseph Whitaker School.

A teacher who admitted swigging wine from a water bottle in her desk was caught drink driving after crashing in the school car park.

Maths teacher Geeta Rana, of Morley Street, Stanton Hill, pranged her Honda Civic at the end of the school day at Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth on November 25 last year.

The 52-year-old was described as being ‘distressed’ and helped back into the school, where the police were called.

When tested at the police station, she gave a reading of 220 mlgs of alcohol in 100 mls of blood. The legal limit is 80 mlgs, putting her at almost three times the legal limit.

During an interview with police, she said she had two-and-a-half glasses of wine earlier in the day, then more before she left.

She then admitted she had the wine in a water bottle in her desk.

Appearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this week, she admitted driving while over the alcohol limit.

Rana, who has been a teacher for 15 years and earns around £2,000 a month, wept as the details of the case were read out.

Mitigating, Tim Haynes said that his client had been driving for nearly 35 years and that the accident had been her first conviction of any kind.

Described as being in ‘poor emotional health, she said that work had been ‘stressful’ for her.

She has since been suspended from Joseph Whitaker School.

Speaking about her problem with drinking, Mr Haynes said: “There’s been a gradual build up of alcohol dependency which she has perhaps been in denial of.

“This is a wake up call. She is not resting on her laurels, she has used the support of her GP to address the issues.”

He said his client was taking medication to curb her alcohol cravings and had not touched a drop since early January.

A probation report found that the night before she was arrested, Rana had struggled to sleep after a counselling session and had drunk more wine to get to sleep.

Feeling anxious she had then poured wine into her water bottle and taken it to work with her the next day.

Rana told a probation officer that she was so upset by her behaviour that she was not going to drink ever again.

After deliberation, the magistrates handed her a community order with 80 hours unpaid work, a 23-month driving ban and made to pay £145 in costs.