A woman drove four children from school to a playground while almost three times the drink drive limit.
As the youngsters went off to play, Helen Storr, 45, opened a bottle of wine and poured it into a beaker before guzzling it down.
A worried member of the public called police after seeing her 'swigging from what looked like a vodka bottle' as she sat in the driver's seat.
Prosecutor Simon Jones told Southampton Crown Court that Storr was clearly 'unsteady on her feet' when she got out of the car.
Police arrived at the scene, in Eastleigh, Hampshire, 20 minutes later and breathalysed her. She was found to have 96mg of alcohol in her breath, which is almost three times the legal limit of 35mg.
Officers took Storr to a police station, where the children were taken to a safe place.
Keely Harvey, defending, said Storr was a well educated lady who had become 'isolated'.
She said Storr had turned to drink to help her cope with stress caused by her mother's deteriorating health and her own medical issues.
Miss Harvey described how Storr had a 'dawning realisation' of what she was doing once police arrived.
She added: 'There is true remorse and a true feeling of shame.'
The court was told Storr has not touched alcohol since the incident, in November last year.
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Handing her a community order, Judge Susan Evans QC, said: 'You were driving a motor vehicle while four young children were in it.
'You were nearly three times over the limit. It is unforgivable in many ways. Thankfully nobody was harmed.
'No doubt the realisation of what you did that day has been a shock to you and you are remorseful and ashamed.'
Storr, from Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, admitted being drunk in charge of a minor and drink driving.
She was disqualified from driving for two years, which will be reduced if she completes a drink impaired driver's course.
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