A former solicitor who left the scene of a crash she caused while more than four times the drink-driving limit has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Danielle Bowyer, of Hill House Lane, Needham Market, was also banned from the road for three years after pleading guilty to drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of a collision on December 10.

The 40-year-old was more than four times the limit when she crashed her Jaguar XF into a parked car shortly before 10.30am in High Street.

Bowyer was followed by another motorist to the car park of the Co-op Foodstore in Barking Road, where she was challenged about the collision but entered the shop and then drove home.

Police attended the address and arrested Bowyer, who returned a breathalyser reading of 151 microgrammes – the legal limit being 35mcg.

Bowyer, an Australian with experience as a legal consultant and solicitor, admitted the offences on December 12, when her case was adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

On Tuesday, South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard how Bowyer had an otherwise clean licence since she began driving in 1994, but had developed an alcohol problem.

Helen Korfanty, mitigating, said Bowyer had only driven away from the Co-op because she was “frightened” by her car door being opened and the manner of the confrontation.

Bowyer was said to have recently halved her alcohol consumption and was attending weekly meetings with a case worker to address her problem.

She was also planning a return to her native Australia following the completion of a divorce from her husband.

Bowyer was told by magistrates that the level of alcohol in her system at the time of the incident, coupled with the aggravating feature of a road collision from which she fled, was enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

She was handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for one year, with a requirement to attend up to 25 days of rehabilitation activity.

She was also banned from driving for 36 months, fined £500 for failing to stop at the collision – the damage for which she also had to pay £300 in compensation for damage – and ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £50 statutory fee to victim support services.