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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Five-year ban for Carlisle woman three times drink-drive limit

A 60-year-old woman who was three times the drink-drive limit has been banned from driving for five years.

Joyce Smith, of Scotby, near Carlisle, was driving “erratically” and narrowly missed a car coming in the other direction, Carlisle magistrates heard.

The driver of the other car followed her and contacted police, who went to her home later that same day, on March 2.

Prosecutor Diane Jackson said that the other driver, on Georgian Way in Carlisle, had to take ‘evasive action’ when Smith’s Citroen Picasso headed towards him.

“He followed the car into Scotby village and contacted police,” she said.

She said Smith seemed intoxicated to the officers and failed a breathalyser test. She was arrested and taken to Durranhill police station where a blood sample found 290 mg in 100 ml of blood – three times the 80 mg limit.

Defence solicitor Geoff Clapp said she had been at a horse event and was sober when driving home, but had drunk a large brandy and bottle of wine when she got home. “She was sober while driving home,” he said.

He told the court that Smith had given up work to look after her elderly parents and was distressed at the time of the incident.

He handed in several references on behalf of Smith and the court heard she was “pro-active’ in seeking help from her doctor and other agencies.

Magistrates told her the “very high” reading meant the case passed the custody limit and she was given a 20-week sentence, suspended for a year.

Smith, who admitted the drink-driving offence, was also banned from the roads for 60 months and given a community order.

She was also told to complete a six-month alcohol treatment programme, fined £100 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

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