Woman says her dog was behind the wheel when she was caught drunk

Melissa Jenkins Johanson blamed her dog for her bad driving (Image: Athena)

Melissa Jenkins Johanson blamed her dog for her bad driving (Image: Athena)

A woman caught drunk driving said her dog was behind the wheel when she was caught reversing.

Melissa Jenkins Johanson, 47, said her spaniel Lily was driving her car when she was seen trying to get out of a parking lot at midday.

Johanson attempted to reverse out of a parking lot four times around noon on February 15 before a man noticed her poor driving and called the police.

The court heard that Johanson had made some “shopping” and was seen by other shoppers trying to come out of her room with a half-empty bottle of wine.

On the fifth try, Johanson managed to swerve backwards and then began to skid down the footpath before colliding with a bus stop just yards from a children’s playground, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Hannah George, prosecutor, told the court how cafe staff ran outside to warn families that Johanson was driving on the sidewalk.

COPY BY TOM BEDFORD Pic: Melissa Jenkins Johanson Subject: Melissa Jenkins Johanson driving down a footpath in The Parrog, West Wales, thinking it was a road while drunk and later telling police her dog did Driven car, was convicted Swansea Crown Court, Wales, UK. Johanson, 47, attempted to back out of the parking lot of the Ocean Cafe bar and restaurant next door in Fishguard four times before a man noticed her intoxicated state and called police. Judge Rees sentenced the defendant to 12 months suspended for 18 months. She must complete a 15-day rehabilitation course, do 150 hours of unpaid work and ensure she visits Swansea Crown every month before a magistrate to monitor her progress on alcohol use. In addition, her driver's license was revoked for three years.

Johanson was banned from driving for three years in court (Image: Athena)

COPY BY TOM BEDFORD Pic: Melissa Jenkins Johanson Subject: Melissa Jenkins Johanson driving down a footpath in The Parrog, West Wales, thinking it was a road while drunk and later telling police her dog did Driven car, was convicted Swansea Crown Court, Wales, UK. Johanson, 47, attempted to back out of the parking lot of the Ocean Cafe bar and restaurant next door in Fishguard four times before a man noticed her intoxicated state and called police. Judge Rees sentenced the defendant to 12 months suspended for 18 months. She must complete a 15-day rehabilitation course, do 150 hours of unpaid work and ensure she visits Swansea Crown every month before a magistrate to monitor her progress on alcohol use. In addition, her driver's license was revoked for three years.

Johanson said her pet was driving when she was spotted in her car with a half-drunk bottle of wine (Image: Athena)

She said: “She eventually walked onto the main road where she stopped for a few minutes.

“She then went to the Seaview Hotel and then on to Tesco where she was captured on CCTV footage.”

Johanson had managed to get home, and when police arrived at her home to question her, she excused herself by saying her pet was behind the wheel and her friend was driving.

Officers found her car “severely damaged” and when they asked her to take a breathalyzer and blood samples, she refused.

She was then taken into custody, where she again refused to give rehearsals.

Judge Huw Rees said Johanson’s actions were “incredible,” adding, “Probably [she refused to give samples] because she was so drunk… she babbled incoherent nonsense about her dog.’

Eyewitnesses, who stood helplessly watching as Johanson drove through the park, said she didn’t think of anyone around her.

Johanson was also banned from driving at the time after being convicted of drunk driving in November last year.

Judge Rees concluded, “Drinking has been your nemesis for some time in recent years.”

He added: “Your stance on the offense causes additional concern.

“However you judge this, let me be very clear – your offense is very serious.

“Your selfish decision to drink alcohol on a large scale and your ignorance of the consequences meant someone, perhaps a child, could be seriously injured, maimed or even killed.”

Judge Rees sentenced Johanson to 12 months in prison, 18 of which was suspended.

She is also required to complete a 15-day rehabilitation course, do 150 hours of unpaid work and attend Swansea Crown Court every month before a magistrate to monitor her alcohol consumption.

In addition, her driver’s license was revoked for three years.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/22/woman-said-her-dog-was-at-the-wheel-when-she-was-caught-drink-driving-17432886/ Woman says her dog was behind the wheel when she was caught drunk

Justin Scacco

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