Drink-driving lawyer dodges road ban after court hears she was moving her car to avoid a parking fine
- Danielle Amodio got up early to move the car out of a residents-only bay
- She had spent a night drinking wine at the home of her friend Sophie Stevens
- Police stopped the pair on walk back and found they were more than twice limit
- They were fined combined £1,500 at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in London
A solicitor has dodged a ban for drink-driving while moving her Mercedes 50 yards to avoid a parking fine.
Danielle Amodio, 31, got up early on a Sunday morning to move the car out of a residents-only bay after a night spent drinking wine at the home of her friend Sophie Stevens.
When the £72,000-a-year lawyer struggled to reverse out, she asked Miss Stevens, 32, to help her.
But police stopped the pair on the walk back – and a breathalyser test found they were both more than twice the legal limit.
Danielle Amodio (left) got up early on a Sunday morning to move the car out of a residents-only bay after a night spent drinking wine at the home of her friend Sophie Stevens (right)
They admitted driving with excess alcohol in their breath and were fined a combined £1,500 at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in south-west London.
Both managed to avoid an automatic 12-month driving ban after convincing magistrates they moved the car simply to stop it being ticketed by a traffic warden.
But Miss Amodio’s criminal conviction could lead to professional misconduct proceedings. Simon Harrison, defending, said: ‘Miss Amodio notified the Solicitors Regulation Authority two days later. She knows what she did was wrong.’
Last night, Miss Stevens – who earned £50,000 a year as a recruitment specialist before losing her job due to the pandemic – described the incident in mid May as ‘scary’. She added: ‘We are not used to being in trouble. It’s crazy. The whole thing was a bit odd.’
Miss Amodio, who owns a £665,000 flat three miles away, had driven to Miss Stevens’ house in Wimbledon the day before and parked in a residents’ bay.
They admitted driving with excess alcohol in their breath and were fined a combined £1,500 at Wimbledon’s Magistrates’ Court (pictured) in south west London
But next morning, with the narrow road full of cars, Miss Amodio was able to get her Mercedes only partly out.
Miss Stevens jumped in and reversed it down the road and into a space on the street – only to be caught with her friend moments later by police.
She said: ‘There was someone at the end of the road watching us try to get out of the space. They must have assumed we were drunk. I think they called the police.
‘We were walking back when a police car pulled up. They asked, “Did you just drive?”. We said, “Yes, we were just parking”, thinking nothing of it. Then we were breathalysed.’
Miss Amodio, who is legal counsel to the technology firm Genius Sports, was found to have 90 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – well over twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms. Miss Stevens’ reading was 76 micrograms. Miss Amodio received eight penalty points on her driving licence and was fined £1,392, with £250 costs and a £139 victim surcharge. Her friend was given nine points and was fined £120 with £250 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.