Driver caught at more than three times alcohol limit avoids prison
- Credit: ARCHANT
A drink driver who was more than three times the legal limit when she ended up off the road has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Sandra Bultitude, 56, appeared for sentence at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday after charges of drink driving, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, and no insurance were previously proved in her absence.
The court heard how police on patrol saw a car transporter trying to pull a Renault Clio from a dipped grass area at the Queach in Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds around 10am.
Bultitude, who had been driving the car, her husband, and the car transporter operator were at the scene, David Bryant, prosecuting, told the court.
Police tried to speak to Bultitude, who was not wearing any footwear, but she did not respond, Mr Bryant told magistrates.
The officers smelt alcohol on Bultitude and asked her husband what had happened.
He told officers: "She tried to let someone past and ended up on the grass."
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Bultitude initially refused a roadside breath test and was arrested.
But at Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre, she blew 124microgrammes of alcohol in
100millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.
Bultitude, of St Edmunds Place, Bury St Edmunds, answered no comment to questions in police interview, Mr Bryant said.
The court heard that Bultitude has a previous conviction for drink driving in 2012, making her subject to a minimum driving disqualification of three years.
Shelley Drew, representing Bultitude, said her client admitted having issues with alcohol.
Ms Drew said Bultitude has sought help from rehabilitation charity Turning Point since the incident, which acted as "a catalyst" for her to change her behaviour.
Bultitude had an argument with her husband the night before the incident and the pair are now separated, Ms Drew said.
Magistrates handed Bultitude eight weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with up to 30 rehabilitation activity days.
She was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work, and banned from driving for four years.
Bultitude must also pay £175 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £128.