Woman, 58, caught drink-driving twice in two months

Essex Police's summer campaign aims to tackle drink and drug driving. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Katherine Rushforth was caught drink-driving in October and December  - Credit: Simon Parker

A 58-year-old Suffolk woman has appeared before magistrates after being caught drink-driving twice in the space of less than two months.

Katherine Rushforth admitted two counts of driving while over the limit at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday .

Rushforth, of Oak Crescent, in Eye, was almost four times the limit when police stopped her Peugeot 306 near her address on the afternoon of October 26 last year.

An evidential breath test returned a reading of 119 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg.

Less than two months later, on the afternoon of December 18, while on bail for the first offence, Rushforth was caught driving the same car along Waterloo Road with 98mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Prosecutor Monali Raleraskar said Rushforth had shown "flagrant disregard" for the law by committing two similar offences within such a short period of time.

Helen Korfanty, mitigating, said Rushforth had turned to drink after losing her employment in farming due to Covid cutbacks in October and had not realised her increasing level of alcohol consumption. 

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She said Rushworth had been shocked by the level of reading on the first occasion, and had claimed not to have consumed alcohol since the evening before the second offence, adding: "Habitual drinkers can appear sober and not be medically so.

"She thought she was under the limit and went out."

A pre-sentence report by the probation service found that the loss of her employment had affected Rushforth's alcohol intake.

It said Rushworth had since reduced her alcohol consumption but was still drinking and wanted to receive help.

"She shows remorse and is willing to address her alcohol issues," it concluded.

Magistrates said they had taken into account Rushforth's early admission of guilt and her previous good character.

She was handed a 12-month community order, with a home curfew from 8pm-7am and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

Magistrates banned her from driving for 36 months and granted an application by the prosecution to confiscate her car.

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